Test bed proposed for Swedish electric car technology

24 May 2017

24 May 2017 Sweden’s Government wants to build a test bed for electric vehicles, so it can take advantage of the technology and forge new relationships between researchers and the country’s vehicle manufacturers. Mikael Damberg, minister for enterprise and innovation, met with Volvo AB, Volvo Cars and Scania as well as several universities around Gothenburg to discuss the plans. Swedish research institute RISE has been tasked with a preliminary study focusing on how to finance a centre and to study where it could be placed. It is expected to present its findings in the autumn of 2017. Damberg comments: ′We have strong manufacturers in Sweden that are in the middle of this technological transformation and have to shift to electric in the future. We want a national campaign together with the Swedish manufacturing industry for electro mobility. As we see it, it is a fairly substantial investment, but it must also be jointly funded. If the industry shows that they are serious, the state is also prepared to spend money to get such a test bed in place.’ Henrik Svenningstorp will lead the project at RISE. He says: There are many in the global market who have, or will soon have, some expertise in electro-mobility, but our culture of collaboration and innovation is unique. This is why this project, in Sweden, will succeed. ′The great advantage of a joint venture [between manufacturers, universities and research institutes] is that it is much more efficient to invest in joint capacity and laboratories because of the difficulties of creating individual research areas when there is already a high rate of electro-mobility in a quick moving market. RISE’s independence and capacity to develop and operate test beds will allow us to create the platform needed to pursue further cooperation.’ Sweden is not the first Scandinavian country to be actively pursuing a lead in electric vehicle (EV) technology. Finnish semi-state utility provider Fortum has announced it will build the first high-power (150-350kW) charging corridor between the Nordic capitals.  Meanwhile, the EU has been increasingly calling for more advanced vehicle testing, especially in the wake of the emissions scandal which engulfed German manufacturer Volkswagen in 2015.

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