On the Road
In total, there were almost 4.9 million private cars and heavy vehicles on the road in Sweden at the end of 2010. About 51% of newly registered private cars had diesel engines.
Eco car exemptions are defined by the fuel consumption, use of alternative fuels, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions levels (a vehicle run on fossil fuels can be called an eco car if the carbon dioxide emissions are below 120 g/km). In January 2011, there were 362,000 eco cars in Sweden, an increase from 279,000 eco cars at the start of 2010. In 2011, the sales share of private cars that are eco vehicles continued its increase from 38% to 40%. This might show the Swedish public’s great interest in climate change, but economic reasons such as high oil prices and vehicle purchase subsidies might also play a part. In 2010, eco vehicles with efficient conventional powertrains with maximum emissions of 120 g CO2/km accounted for 62% of all sales of eco vehicles.
In 2009 the Swedish Energy Agency supported two projects where a total of 150 battery electric vehicles were demonstrated over the past couple of years. One project will test the Volvo C30 EV in 2011. The other concerns 100 Saab 9-3 EVs during 2010 and 2011, though the closure of Saab has likely ended this project. The Energy Agency got directions from the government to include questions regarding infrastructure and user acceptance in a new demonstration program that will run for four years.
The major Swedish power companies began working together in 2008 in a joint initiative promoting EVs and PHEVs. The goal is to bring 600,000 vehicles to the market by 2020. One ongoing subproject involves converting ten Toyota Priuses to PHEVs and field-testing them. In contrast to the utilities’ goal, the Swedish Energy Agency has recently revised its previous prediction of 85,000 EVs in 2020 to 18,000.
Project Hyper Bus
Volvo 7700 Hybrid Bus. Image courtesy of Volvo AB.
Gothenburg will be the test venue for a new hybrid bus with plug in-technology. Buses and charging stations will be tested in regular traffic in true city conditions. Project Hyper Bus — which was just awarded an EU grant of SEK 14 million as part of budget totaling SEK 28 million — began operating on September 1, 2011 and will run until 2014.
It can be divided into four sub-areas; demonstration of plug-in technology for hybrid buses, rapid-charge stations, tests in real city environments on existing bus routes and the publication of results and experiences from the project.
Volvo Buses is responsible for the project buses, Göteborg Energi for the charging stations, Västtrafik for routing and driveability and the City of Gothenburg Traffic & Public Transport Authority will take care of metering and calculations.
Business Region Göteborg will manage the project and have responsibility for documentation, communication and the dissemination of project results and the exchange of experiences with other EU projects.
The plug-in hybrid buses will use electricity as their primary power source and diesel for supplementary power. Plug-in technology allows the buses to be charged with external power through connection to a charging station.