Greening public transportation: A radical design and powertrain project at an incrementalist innovator. The case of the series-hybrid bus project at Scania Trucks

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 10, Number 1, p.93-114 (2010)



Sustainable mobility requires innovation in public transportation. This paper provides an in-depth perspective on how a heavy vehicle maker with an entrenched tradition of incremental innovations is grappling to develop a radically new city bus with a series hybrid power-train. The study illustrates the managerial challenges involved in this innovation: the need for the company to exploit its core capabilities in areas such as diesel technology and modular design, and at the same time to overcome core rigidities embedded in its tradition of developing new vehicles in carefully planned small steps. The paper shows how the firm is responding to these challenges by using unconventional methods, such as the concurrent development of a new power-train and new bus designs, public demonstrations of early prototypes, advanced customer field testing, the creation of new competence structures, and the use of international events to set hard deadlines and maintain momentum. Copyright © 2010 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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