Scania released today an interesting video with probably the first electric truck crash test (not counting the steel balls thrown into the Tesla Cybertruck), in which a passenger car violently crashes into the side of the truck - directly into the batteries.
We don't know the details, but the manufacturer noted that "the battery emerged unscathed," which means that the pack structure protected the modules/cells inside. It's great news, since no one would like to see a fire engulf a huge truck in the middle of the city.
"Electric truck crash testing is not the same as that of a truck with a combustion engine. The energy from the impact needs to be distributed and should spread throughout the structure surrounding the battery. The desired state is that it deforms the plastic and distributes kinetic energy into less critical components.
Preparing for any crash test is a lot of work. It can take months of precision planning to get all the details just right. The real test takes place after numerous simulations have been carried out. “The actual crash test is ultimately only to confirm that our calculations were accurate,” says Test Engineer Jakob Leygraf at Scania R&D."
In the tested layout (probably based on the conventional truck model), the battery packs are installed on the sides of the truck:
It's great to see that Scania was working not only to develop and introduce electric trucks on the market (recently they announced significant investment plans) but also cares about how to minimize the consequences of crashes.