Scania’s autonomous concept bus NXT, a vehicle planned for multiple uses such as public transportation and garbage collection, is built with carbon fiber parts provided by Marstrom Composite.

As cities become more congested and environmental concerns mount, the need for mass transport vehicles producing lower emissions becomes more important. Scania’s NXT, an electric battery-powered, autonomous urban concept vehicle is designed with the flexibility to move from carrying commuters to and from work and delivering packages all day to collecting garbage at night. NXT can connect front and rear drive modules to a bus module, a distribution truck module or a sweeper. “This is something new, something very different. Yet flexible design and modularised units lie very much at the core of Scania,” said Robert Sjödin, NXT project manager.

The eight-meter-long bus is built of composites, substantially reducing the vehicle’s weight. Marstrom Composite is providing the panels for the sidewalls, the front, and rear-wheel housings as well as the inner floors and the outer panels for ceilings.  These parts are made of carbon fiber in prepreg form, which was cured in an oven, sanded and primed. The cylindrical cell batteries are placed under the floor, using otherwise dead space and contributing to better weight distribution. NXT weighs in at less than eight metric tonnes, and the range with the current batteries is estimated at 245 kilometers.

“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,” said Scania’s president and CEO Henrik Henriksson. “NXT is designed for 2030 and beyond while incorporating several cutting-edge features that are already available.”