Swedish truck manufacturer Scania has partnered with Swedish-Swiss automation company ABB and nonprofit organization CharIN to test the Megawatt Charging System or MCS technology.

While specific details about the tests were not disclosed, the project’s main aim was to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the MCS.

The MCS is designed to support a charging voltage of up to 1,250 volts and a current of 3,000 amperes, theoretically allowing for a charging power of up to 3.75 megawatts.

Unlike electric cars, the MCS ensures standardized charging port placement within the vehicle. It requires the charging port to be on the left side of the vehicle, positioned between two and 4.80 meters behind the bumper, and at approximately waist height.

This standardized location aims to simplify the setup of megawatt charging stations, and the CharIN initiative has already released different configurations for future truck charging hubs.

Upon completion of the project, Scania plans to provide its initial customers with electric trucks featuring an initial version of the MCS standard plug within the current year. ABB E-Mobility also intends to unveil an enhanced version of the MCS technology in late 2024 or early 2025.

Scania and ABB actively participate in the CharIN initiative, which focuses on developing the MCS standard. The initial version of the MCS was showcased at the Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS35) in Oslo in mid-2022.

During the event, ABB revealed the prototype connector design at its booth and announced plans for pilot projects in 2023, followed by a commercial rollout in 2024.

Scania’s Pursuit of Rapid Charging

Fredrik Allard, Senior Vice President of E-Mobility at Scania, highlighted the significant growth in the electric transport sector. The company has set an ambitious target for electric vehicles to account for 50 percent of Scania’s annual sales by 2030.

According to Allard, infrastructure development is essential to achieve this goal, with the MCS playing a crucial role in shaping the future infrastructure landscape.

Scania has actively participated and showcased the MCS charging process using its truck at the EVS, particularly at an Alpitronic Hypercharger station. The company emphasized the significance of the MCS technology for long-haul electric trucks, primarily because of the specific regulations that govern driving and rest periods for truck drivers.

In Scania’s case, the vehicle can be driven for a maximum of 4.5 hours before the driver is required to take a 45-minute break. During this break, the truck must recharge sufficiently for another 4.5 hours.

Given the larger size of the batteries, fast and high-power charging is crucial, especially as Scania reportedly develops extra-long-haul trucks with a gross weight exceeding 60 tons.