Cities around the world need to further develop their transport solutions to increase mobility for both people and goods, and at the same time, to reduce emissions. Gothenburg, which is the first in the world to investigate the interaction between self-driving vehicles and long-term urban planning, showcased the latest developments when the city hosted an international delegation with participants from eight countries.

The delegates’ one-week programme, conducted in Gothenburg, Södertälje and Stockholm, focused on urban planning, smart mobility, electrification and hybrid and biogas technologies. During their visit, presentations were held for the delegates by experts from, for example, RISE, the Swedish Transport Administration and Göteborg Energi. The delegates were also able to meet with both small companies and large, and even test drive electric-powered cargo bikes along a street in the heart of Gothenburg.

Christoffer Widegren from the Gothenburg Traffic Administration Office took the group on a walking tour of central Gothenburg and described how city logistics are handled with, for example, Stadsleveransen, a service for making deliveries in the city centre with small electric vehicles during the hours when deliveries with conventional vehicles are prohibited.

Per Adolfsson is the COO for Velove, one of the companies that demonstrated an electric cargo bike the delegates were able to test-drive.

What does it mean for you to participate in this sort of event?

"We feel it is important since our goal is to change the climate in the world’s cities, and through our participation, we can reach out to new markets with our message and our products,” says Per Adolfsson. “We have had the support of the City of Gothenburg from the very beginning – they bought our first ten bikes.”

How was interest in your solutions during the visit?

"There has been considerable interest from the delegates and we even received a firm query as a result of the delegation’s visit," Per says.

“It was fun to see that so many wanted to test-drive our electric cargo bike. There were quite a few laughs, but at the same time, it gave the delegates the chance to see how our cargo bike works in an actual city environment.”

What makes your product competitive?

“Our initial contacts are often due to companies wanting a green solution in their operations,” says Per. “But when we can even demonstrate that our solution delivers twice as many packages in the same time as a traditional courier, economy also enters into the decision.”

The future is electric
During the afternoon, the delegation continued with electric bus line 16 to Lindholmen to find out about thetest bedElectriCity and the Volvo Bus Electromobility Strategy.


Collaboration in Gothenburg impresses
Samira Negem from Cairo was impressed by the collaboration between the city, business and research in Gothenburg, and that the city is actively involved in research and test beds for producing innovative solutions to problems. She also sees opportunities for the electric cargo bike in Cairo, where there are many narrow streets that can be difficult for conventional vehicles to navigate.

The visit was arranged by the Swedish Institute along with Smart City Sweden, Business Sweden and Green Gothenburg, which is operated by Business Region Göteborg on behalf of the City of Gothenburg. Green Gothenburg receives delegations that want to see the region’s green system solutions, and it helps companies that want to export green technologies to come in contact with decision-makers and potential customers.

“We’re working to increase interest in the Gothenburg region’s sustainable solutions and to attractvisits to the region by international delegations,” says Sofia McConnell, who heads Green Gothenburg. “When many international decision-makers visit our region, we can provide valuable business contacts to the region’s companies and thus increase their opportunities for export.”

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