Swedish company, Midsummer is participating in a development project in which Midsummer's solar panels will be installed on a truck trailer operating commercially in Sweden. The objective is to research how much the electricity generation from the solar panels can extend the range of a hybrid truck and ultimately both save fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Measurements will also be made whether the trailer can feed electricity into the grid when not running. Theoretical calculations by the University of Uppsala indicate fuels savings of 5-10 percent in Sweden and 10-20 percent in Malaga, Spain.
Courtesy of Scania
"Our technology has previously successfully powered electrical vehicles such as buses and smaller vehicles," said Sven Lindström, CEO, Midsummer. "It is promising that project calculations indicate good possibilities for actual fuel savings. Our type of flexible and thin film solar cells is necessary to drive the development in the direction that the automotive industry needs to take in order to reach global climate goals."
"We have high expectations for this project," said Eric Falkgrim, Technology Leader in Vehicle Design, Scania R&D. "Being able to power our trucks with solar energy would be a massive breakthrough for the truck industry that is working relentlessly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions."
Commercial trials will run throughout 2021. In June 2020, Sweden's innovation agency Vinnova announced that the project has $944,000 in financing for phase 2 and that the participants also commit to financing.
The project has the following participants; Midsummer as manufacturer of the light, flexible and thin solar panels for the truck trailer; Scania as constructor of the hybrid truck, the University of Uppsala as project managers; Eksjö Maskin & Truck as constructors of the trailer; Ernst Express that will commercially operate the truck and the trailer; and Dalakraft as owner of the electrical grid located at Ernst Express' facilities and in charge of feeding in to the grid.