Scania unveils its vision of 2030 urban transport
Scania has unveiled its vision of urban transportation in 2030. Not just distribution of goods, but transport of commuting humans and refuse collection, as well, all using the same vehicle.
Scania’s NXT concept vehicle, a working prototype of which is currently under construction, takes the company’s modular philosophy to a new level by providing a platform onto which a variety of dedicated modules can be mounted. The presence of a human driver doesn’t feature in the plan.
Scania sees a typical daily duty cycle as starting by carrying commuters to work, before spending the day delivering freight before changing back to passenger mode for the homeward commute. Then in the evening, it can become a refuse collection vehicle. Think of a wheeled version of Thunderbird 2.
The difference is that the NXT has separate drive modules, front and rear, providing the functions normally supplied by a truck’s driveline and chassis. Power will of course be electrical, from batteries located under the floor.
As an eight-metre bus with a lightweight composite module, weighing less than 8,000kg, the NXT is expected to have 245km range with current battery technology, although a lot is likely to happen to that aspect over the next decade.
Scania’s president and CEO Henrik Henriksson says “NXT is a vision of the future for transport in cities. Several of these technologies have yet to fully mature but for us it’s been important to actually build a concept vehicle to visibly and technically demonstrate ideas of what is within reach,” adding “NXT is designed for 2030 and beyond while incorporating several cutting-edge features that are already available.”
Chinese tyre tax gives retread industry a boost says Bridgestone
A tax imposed on imported budget Chinese tyres has dramatically reduced the amount of cheap rubber coming into the UK, giving the European retread industry a much-needed boost.
“It’s definitely been good news for retreads, but it hasn’t been quite as positive as we had hoped,” explained Terry Salter, Bridgestone’s truck product manager of Northern Europe. “Unfortunately people have got out of the habit of buying retreads.”
While the Chinese were dumping cheap tyres in Europe, and hauliers changed their buying habits, so 25% of European retread factories were forced to close. But Bridgestone, which owns the Bandag retread brand, stayed committed.
“We firmly believe that it is the right thing, not only from a financial point of view, but for society and the environment too,” declared Salter. "Every truck tyre contains 70kg of steel rubber and oil, and when a tyre is retreaded, most of these materials are used again. It’s time to start re-educating people.".