Sweden invests US$1.1bn in testbed for electric vehicles

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With support from the Swedish government, Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) and Chalmers University of Technology are developing a testbed for evaluating electric vehicles. Approximately 1bn SEK (US$100m) will be invested in the new facility, which will include contributions from CEVT, Scania, Volvo Cars and Volvo Group.

Badged the Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory (SEEL), the center will be located in the Lindholmen area of Gothenburg, with facilities in the Stockholm region too.

Equipment there will enable testing of electrified gearboxes and driveshafts for different types of vehicles, drivetrains and components, as well as charging and smart power-management systems. Customers from the marine and aviation sectors will be able to make use of the testbed, too.

Stefan Bengtsson, president and CEO of Chalmers, said, “This investment offers great opportunities for education, research and industrial development. The testbed complements the laboratories that Chalmers already has. It is ideal for us to take responsibility as one of the owners, to effectively contribute to rapid knowledge development relating to electric vehicles.”

RISE CEO Pia Sandvik, explained, “SEEL is unique in terms of the close collaboration that will take place between industry, institutes and academia. It has all the potential to become a world-leading electromobility testing facility. Together with our testing area for active vehicle safety, AstaZero, and our new test facility for stress-testing automotive electronics and wireless communications, Awitar, SEEL makes RISE well-equipped to be a strong innovation partner for the Swedish automotive industry in the future.”

“CEVT has a clear mission within the Geely Group to become a world-leading innovation center. Electromobility is an area that allows for new features that will be absolutely essential for our future products to meet tomorrow’s requirements for fossil-free vehicles. Development of these features requires a deep understanding of components and systems – SEEL will be part of the base we need to continuously develop this knowledge,” added Mats Fägerhag, CEO of CEVT (China Euro Vehicle Technology).

“Scania is driving the shift toward a fossil-free transportation system. Electrification will be an important part of that journey, and Sweden – with large vehicle makers, green energy and good cooperation between politics, academia and the corporate sector – has unique conditions to take a heavy role in this development globally,” commented Björn Westman, senior VP and head of powertrain development at Scania. “The two electric transport laboratories will be very beneficial for both development and testing of heavy electric vehicles in Sweden.”

Lars Stenqvist, chief technology officer at Volvo Group, said, “We in the automotive industry have a major role to play in climate management, and electrification is an important part of that work. We have started with buses and our first electric trucks, but much more research and development is required. SEEL will help us – and Sweden – to remain a leader in the development of vehicles and systems for climate-neutral transport.”

“Volvo Cars’ ambitious electrification strategy means that SEEL will be an important tool when developing and verifying the new technologies we are planning for the coming years,” commented, Paul Welander, senior VP at Volvo Cars. “During the years between 2020 to 2025, we anticipate a significant shift toward electrified vehicles, so the timing for SEEL is ideal. It is also an investment that will benefit both the industry and society.”

Equipment will become available for testing as and when ready; however, the lab is expected to be fully operational by 2022.

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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