Electrical vehicle for urban traffic to receive research support from the Swedish Energy Agency

An electrically powered urban vehicle that can cover 90 percent of the daily transport needs of a commuter is the goal of a research project at Volvo Car Corporation, which is now being partly financed by a good SEK 150 million from the Swedish Energy Agency.

The project will conclude with 50 vehicles being demonstrated in actual traffic.

The research programme at Volvo Car Corporation is being carried out within the framework of the Demonstration and Commercialisation Programme, which among other things, encompasses energy technology of substantial national significance and comprehensive export potential.

The goal is to increase the knowledgebase of Volvo Car Corporation within the area of electrical vehicles and initially to develop an electrically powered vehicle. The vehicle is intended for urban traffic which can cover 90 percent of the daily transport needs for a normal automobile commuter. In comparison with a conventional powertrain, an electrical powertrain is much more energy efficient, which means that the carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced significantly. A very important part of the research project is to fulfil all the applicable safety requirements (for example EuroNCAP) as well as providing good driving characteristics and climate comfort that is at least at the same level with that of modern automobiles. Furthermore, the vehicle must be very reliable and live up to its specified range under normal driving conditions.

Parts of the project are open to other parties within the vehicle cluster. This concerns primarily parts of the charging system as well as high-voltage components. This enhances the opportunities for member companies of the vehicle cluster with respect to a knowledgebase in the area of electrically powered vehicles.

The intent of the project is to continue the project entitled "Research, development and industrialisation study of electrical vehicles for urban traffic with high market potential" (P32116-1). The decision was made on the basis of the Ordinance (SFS 2008:761) on state aid to research and development in the energy sector. Support is being provided to the extent that it is compatible with the EU's rules for state support.

The project has a high degree of commercial relevance since vehicles with good environmental performance, first and foremost low carbon dioxide emissions, are also becoming increasingly important to automotive companies from a competition-related perspective.