A new pilot program in Stockholm, Sweden will test quiet hybrid trucks making overnight...

A new pilot program in Stockholm, Sweden will test quiet hybrid trucks making overnight deliveries to McDonald's restaurants in the city center, to see if the vehicles can avoid traffic and run silent.

Photo courtesy Scania

In the city center of Stockholm, Sweden, trucks are restricted from overnight deliveries because of their noise levels, which means that deliveries for shops and restaurants tend to occur during the morning rush hour.

However, a recently expanded pilot program is trying to maintain low-noise levels and reduce traffic and emissions by deploying hybrid Scania trucks to make deliveries to McDonald’s restaurants there overnight.

The project is under way thanks to the collaboration of the City of Stockholm, logistics provider Havi, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the European Union, McDonalds, and Scania. The trial will deploy Scania chargeable hybrid trucks that use a combination of electrical power and a type of biodiesel fuel called HVO, which is said to produce reduced emissions of particles and carbon dioxide.

The trucks have a limited capability to travel completely on electric power, with a range of about 10 kilometers or about 6.2 miles. The trucks will also be connected and fitted with geofencing technology that will allow them to adapt to the driving conditions in predetermined areas.

This will allow the trucks to deploy the limited electric range where it is most needed and still have access to better range and power once outside city limits. The geofence will determine which power mode and speeds the trucks can travel in as they approach the city center, potentially providing the desired noise and emissions reduction.

"These trucks drive quietly and are emission-free in these sensitive urban areas,” said Camilla Eklöf, quality, safety & environmental manager, Havi.  “At the same time, however, they are still capable of driving longer distances. Our global partnership with Scania and McDonald's is really making a difference to the environment as we work together to minimize emissions."

The pilot program will study how much of an environmental benefit is gained by not having trucks stuck in traffic and by always having good accessibility.

The hybrid truck’s battery can be charged externally and by power generated by the truck’s brakes. Charging stations will be placed near one of the McDonald’s restaurants to charge the battery while loading, unloading, and during driver breaks to ensure that the vehicles can continue operating solely on electric power while in the city center.

“This project is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate and evaluate the possibilities that a connected hybrid truck can offer, with the technology available to us here and now, to enable us to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels,” said Jesper Brauer, product manager for urban trucks, Scania.

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