Scania and ABB tested MCS, megawatt charging for electric trucks

Electric propulsion is now being introduced into almost all areas of transport, including aviation. There is great interest in it where most people least expect it, in cargo transport. The electric drive is known for its short range, which can be (and often is) a problem. In the case of delivery vans, however, many of them are operated all the time, but over short distances, so it is not surprising that they appear in large numbers, for example, with courier services. These, especially in cities, cover surprisingly short distances for many, on which even relatively small batteries are sufficient. Electric delivery trucks have been in production for several years, but in recent months there has been a lot of talk about heavy trucks and tractors. But here we are no longer talking about tens or low hundreds of km per day, but about many hundreds. And this is where the electric drive begins to encounter a problem. Companies Scania a ABB but they think they have a solution.

Scania ABB MCS charging

A new standard is being developed for heavy tractors MCS (Megawatt Charging System), which should be fully standardized in 2024. However, some cars can already receive it on request in pilot mode. And one such charger has already been successfully tested by the aforementioned companies. We don’t know the exact power, but it should be around a megawatt. Although the charging connector itself is certainly not small, we can see that it has not become what many feared. Although we are somewhere around 1 MW here, the charging cable is not as thick as many expected (the question is how it will look when using the maximum that MCS is supposed to support, it may be a different matter there).

Scania ABB MCS charging

The system is rumored to use currents of 1500 to 3000 A, which are literally insane values, despite a fairly high voltage that far exceeds what we know from today’s electric car chargers (typically 400 to 800 V). The maximum should be 1250 V, which also means that a charging power of up to 3.75 MW is expected! It is not impossible, it has already been practically tested (not in this case Scania and ABB). It is definitely worth asking where such a huge amount of energy is taken to achieve such a high charging performance. Another question is whether it is even needed.

For Europe, the standard is to be able to drive for 4.5 hours with a mandatory 45 minute break, which should be enough time for the car to drive another 4.5 hours (at 80 km/h this would mean another 360 km) . Volvo recently tested an electric tractor and achieved a consumption of 110 kWh/100 km, but let’s calculate higher values ​​of around 130 kWh/100 km. This would mean approximately 468 kWh of energy for 360 km, and if we have 45 minutes to do it, we would need an output of 624 kW. This is a theory, but the course of the charging power gradually decreases, and when we include other details, it seems to us that it would really need at least something around 1 MW at its peak. Almost four times seems to be usable, perhaps for charging during the journey itself, but not mandatory breaks (personally, however, I do not expect that the combination of a tractor and chargers capable of such performance will be common).

Here, however, it is good not to forget one detail. If the battery is large enough, then it does not need to recharge for the full 360 km when arriving at the charger. Example. If the car has a range of 600 km, it has traveled 360 km and has 240 km left. Then, for the next 360 km route, he only needs to charge 120 km and not 360. So he can get by even with slower charging. Of course, it’s not that simple, because he should definitely have some reserve, it’s about the concept here. The larger the battery, the more energy will be left when arriving at the charger, the less need to charge, i.e. the smaller the need for the fastest charging within the mandatory break. If the tractors have large batteries to just handle the 4.5-hour shifts, it will be really nerve-wracking. Let us also remind you that the Milence company (Volvo, Traton and Daimler) want to build 1700 fast chargers with the MCS system in Europe in the next 5 years. Scania predicts that by 2030, half of the cars produced will already be electric.

At the same time, Scania is introducing the Scania Charging Access service for charging electric vehicles and the Scania Driver App. This is to create a service for accessing and paying for charging. One example of chargers will be the one for the logistics company Falkenklev in Sweden. The charging hub will offer a power of 1.6 MW, space for 22 cars and a 2 MWh balancing battery. Scania will supply 5 electric trucks for Falkenklev.

Source: Svět hardware by

*The article has been translated based on the content of Svět hardware by If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!

*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.

*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!