Electric vehicles a game changer for cities and transport

Friday, August 31, 2018

The rapid development of electric vehicles affects all types of traffic, but also brings new challenges. How do we design our cities with even more types of vehicles in motion? Electric aircraft, when will it become reality? At the initiative seminar “Electromobility – Back to the Future”, on 13 September at Chalmers, these questions will be raised.

​Electric vehicles are nothing new. They have been around for more than a hundred years. Back then however, the battery technology was immature, with short range and big batteries.

“At first, electric vehicles were overtaken by cheaper vehicles with combustion engines. Today, we see that very efficient batteries are emerging. The climate question also accelerates the development. There is a will among politicians, industry and the public, which probably will lead to the replacement of conventional combustion engine vehicles in the long term”, says Sinisa Krajnovic, leader of Transport Area of Advance at Chalmers.

By looking into the rear view mirror at electric vehicles’ century long history, the Transport and Energy Areas of Advance want to highlight the fact that understanding and knowledge now has caught up with technology – along with environmental problems such as greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact from for e.g. battery production.

From electric aircraft to urban planning

“The seminar is a great opportunity for knowledge sharing, mingling and networking for all participants. For my part, I look forward to the many different presentations”, says Maria Grahn, leader of Energy Area of Advance.

The day offers several interesting sessions, including visions for the future such as electric aircraft, technology development and security aspects, strategic decision making and urban planning for electromobility. We will also learn more about what to expect from the national test lab for electromobility (SEEL) and why Norway has the highest number of electric cars per capita.

Prospects good for the 2030 goals

In media, the debate on climate issues has been high since the heat wave this summer, linking to aircraft and other highly energy consuming types of transportation. What, then, is required for Sweden to reach the target and have a fossil-independent fleet by 2030.

“The combination of the two policy instruments introduced this year, Reduction Obligation and Bonus Malus, provides very good conditions for success”, says Maria Grahn.

Reduction obligation means that fuel sold in Sweden must contain a certain amount of fuel from renewable sources to reduce fossil carbon dioxide emissions. Bonus Malus gives incentives for car buyers to choose a more energy-efficient car.

“Most researchers agree that electrification of vehicles is not enough”, says Sinisa Krajnovic. “You have to combine several different propulsion technologies. But above all, we need to change our behaviour.”

An overall picture of electromobility

“Electromobility – Back to the Future” is aimed primarily at research and development professionals in academia and industry, as well as authorities, municipalities, regions, business organizations and special interest groups.

“We welcome everyone, but the programme is planned for those who want to grasp the overall picture of electromobility,” says Maria Grahn.

 

The initiative seminar “Electromobility – Back to the Future” will be held 13 September in RunAn, Chalmersplatsen 1, Gothenburg. Sign up at the latest 3 September.

Programme and registration

Text: Ann-Christine Nordin, Emilia Lundgren