The development and implementation of new electrified and sustainable technology will transform our cities and transport system. Electrification enables us to decrease the use of fossil fuels and create a better city life by reducing noise and improving air quality.
Sweden in the forefront
Sweden aims to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045. The transport sector is responsible for a significant share of these emissions, and transportation volumes are projected to increase. To reach Sweden’s emission reduction goals, developing and implementing electrified solutions to our cities and transport systems is crucial.
As the first country in the world, Sweden launched the first public electric road in 2016. The electric road outside Sandviken and Gävle utilises overhead lines, which powers freight trucks while driving. Additionally, eRoadArlanda outside the Arlanda Airport is a project which aims to generate knowledge and experiences about electric roads by using a test track.
As well as developing new electric infrastructure, there is a great focus to develop electric vehicles for both freight and people. Sweden’s vehicle manufacturers are key innovators for new electric and sustainable vehicles. Electric cars, both fully electric or hybrid-electric, have been on the Swedish market for several decades and the number of these cars on Swedish roads is increasing. In addition to electric cars, electric or hybrid buses and freight trucks are being tested and implemented around Sweden. As an example, the collaboration project ElectriCity utilises electric and hybrid buses in Gothenburg to test new technology that reduces climate impact and noise, while improving the local air quality. For freight transport, electrification opens up new possibilities, such as night-time delivery with electric and quiet vehicles. In addition, implementation of other technological solutions, such as geofencing can be used to force vehicles to switch to electric drive in certain areas.
Possibilities and challenges
The expansion of the number of electric vehicles calls for further development of the charging infrastructure. Since electric cars have a limited driving range, it is important to implement charging infrastructure, both where the vehicle is parked (e.g. apartment complexes and neighbourhoods), and charging stations along roads.
Sweden is taking the lead in the development and implementation of new electrified solutions in urban areas. At the local decision-making level and within the business sector, there is a strong will to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of sustainable projects. The close collaboration in electrification projects, such as the eRoadArlanda and Elväg E16, can inspire other cities to implement innovative projects that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, noise pollution and contribute to a resilient and sustainable society.