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VR and SSAB are electrifying heavy industry transports – the first electric trucks to be introduced in traffic this year

The steel company SSAB Europe and VR's logistics unit VR Transpoint have launched a joint project to electrify heavy industry transport. VR is investing in low-emission road transport by acquiring all-electric trucks that will be used in the transports of SSAB Europe. In terms of total mass, the trucks to be procured will be some of the largest to operate electronically in regular customer deliveries in Finland. SSAB Europe, in turn, is investing in charging stations for heavy vehicles.

VR Transpoint and SSAB are pioneers in designing and operating logistics chains that aim to cut CO2 emissions in transport with a fast schedule. VR is investing in two fully electric articulated vehicles that will start commercial operations at the end of this year in local steel deliveries of SSAB's Hämeenlinna plant. The new, state-of-the-art "electric mammoths" also reduce noise pollution as the electric motor on its own is silent.

Striving for the electrification of heavy transport

"Reducing emissions is also important in road transport. Logistics solutions tailored to customers are part of our strategy to reduce transport emissions even further.  By investing in new, environmentally friendly vehicles, we are improving transport and energy efficiency and reducing traffic emissions,” says Tommi Välimäki, Head of Road Logistics at VR Transpoint.

SSAB Europe is building charging stations for heavy vehicles at its plant in Hämeenlinna. The new electric trucks will be used to transport SSAB's steel products up to 100 kilometres from the Hämeenlinna plant

“This project supports our goal of largely eliminating CO2 emissions from our operations by 2030. Our customers also aim to reduce the CO2 emissions of their operations. We want to play our part in enabling the electrification of the transport of our products by providing charging stations since their availability for heavy traffic remains quite low,” says Anders Ek, Site Manager at SSAB's Hämeenlinna plant

In 2023, the companies concluded new agreements on the transport of raw materials and products by rail and road. At an annual level, this amounts to almost two million tonnes in transport. By developing their operations together, the companies have achieved not only efficient transport chains, but also significant emission reductions. The companies' previous cooperation has included the development of the largest Finnish freight train in terms of mass, the 690-metre-long and 5,200-tonne "mega train", as well as the "mammoth truck", one of the largest articulated vehicles in regular traffic in Finland. Increasing the mass of one-off transports has improved both efficiency and safety as well as gained environmental benefits

The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has granted subsidies for the joint project of VR and SSAB, aimed at enabling emission-free heavy industry transport. The collected data will be used in the Six Hove project of the University of Tampere and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The project aims to promote the electrification of heavy traffic and reduce emissions through a feasibility study.

Electric truck facts:

  • Length: 20 metres
  • Total mass: 64 tonnes
  • Load capacity: 43 tonnes
  • Manufacturer: Scania