Electric truck smashed for safety
Testing impact performance of side-saddle battery pack
Electric big-rigs pose a new challenge for the companies that build them. Since you can’t put the batteries under the floor like you would in a car, they need to go alongside the frame. Like the diesel tanks do now. But crashing into the battery pack could have a much more serious impact than crunching a diesel tank. So they do crash testing. Like what’s happening in this video from Scania.
Scania has had hybrid trucks for some time, but as they look at full-electric, battery packs get bigger and testing becomes more important.
“A great deal of development efforts forego a crash test such as this,” says Mikael Littmann, Head of Mechanical Testing. “We simulate over and over again, with different speed and angles. Simulation is a powerful tool, that is both faster and less expensive than the full-scale equivalent.”
But still, eventually, you need to verify that sim work. “Since we want the crash test to be as authentic as possible, we use a real car for the impact, as that puts a lot more stress on the structure than if we’d used a barrier,” Littmann said. The battery pack is designed to take the impact, in this case a T-Bone from a bumperless Volkswagen Golf. It’s a real battery pack, too, and firefighters were on hand in case the pack caught fire despite the work of the engineers.
The Scania BEV truck is available in 4×2, 6×2, and 6×2*4 (rear-steer), with the ability to fit up to nine lithium-ion batteries for 300 kWh capacity and 250 km of electric range. How did it fare in the testing? The battery pack came out unscathed, Scania said, just as they had planned. Though a driver in the cab certainly would have gone for a wobbly ride.