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The timber trucks in the forestry industry are being electrified.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

The forestry industry's road transports are being electrified through a collaboration involving Skogforsk, CLOSER, Scania, five forestry companies, transport and technology firms, as well as research entities. Together with Vinnova, a total of 155 million SEK is being invested.

Elektrifierad timmerbil

Eldriven timmerbil i trafik hos SCA. Nu ska ska fler eldrivna timmerbilar rulla i skogsbruket inom ramen för det nya, stora FoI-projektet TREE, som koordineras av Skogforsk.

The initiative is part of the research and innovation project TREE, 'Transition to efficient, electrified forestry transport,' coordinated by Skogforsk. The project commences in November 2023 and concludes in autumn 2026. The Swedish government's innovation agency, Vinnova, is allocating 67 million SEK through the R&D program FFI, Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation. The remaining funding comes from project participants, involving investments in vehicles, equipment, and working hours.

It's encouraging that Vinnova believes in this project and is investing such a significant amount. Now, it's up to us, the project partners, to diligently drive this forward and take tangible steps towards the project's vision: efficient, electrified forestry transports as part of the green transition. The project is based on broad collaboration between the forestry sector, transport and logistics subcontractors, and various technological areas. This collaboration empowers us to reach our goals," says Anna Pernestål, Skogforsk's project leader for TREE.

TREE could serve as the starting point for large-scale electrification within the forestry industry, which is one of Sweden's largest purchasers of transportation services. This initiative will make a significant difference for the environment.

David Fridner, Project Leader, CLOSER

Biggest in road transports

The forestry industry accounts for nearly 20 percent of Sweden's road freight transports, making it the country's largest purchaser of road transport services. Around two million road transports are carried out annually in the forestry sector, with an average load of approximately 64 tons per typical timber transport. The average transportation distance is about 90 kilometers.

"The forestry sector has high ambitions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, making electrification crucial. However, transporting timber presents challenges for electrification due to the external environment, the weight and robustness of vehicles, and the fact that timber is harvested in remote forest areas, often far from urban infrastructure. The project is highly complex," says Anna Pernestål.

"The project aims to ensure that 50 percent of the new trucks purchased by the forestry sector are electrified by 2030. Electrifying 50 percent of truck transports could result in reducing carbon dioxide emissions by around 260,000 tons per year'', according to Skogforsk's estimates.

Several test sites

Multiple test sites will be established from Småland to Västerbotten, where electric vehicles will operate using various types of charging infrastructure and logistical support. Demonstrations, knowledge building, overall system understanding, and the development of business models are some of the overarching goals of these sites.

Scania is contributing equipment for vehicle charging without a grid connection and technical solutions that enable electric operation, even for trailers. Additionally, the company is providing substantial expertise in this field.

Electric vehicles are now part of our regular product range, and we've already delivered the world's first electric timber truck in Sweden. We're eagerly looking forward to taking the next step in the TREE project and developing electrified transports in collaboration with the forestry industry.

Ulf Ceder, Development and Research Collaborations, Scania.

Participating companies in TREE

Skogforsk, Scania, Stora Enso, Sveaskog, Södra, SCA, Holmen, CLOSER, LBC Frakt, Dalafrakt, Virkeslogistik Mellansverige, VSV Unite, Alltransport Östergötland, OP Höglunds, Nimbnet, Zelk Energy, bev_r, Biometria, KTH and Uppsala universitet

Do you want to know more? 

David Fridner

David Fridner

Project Manager