New initiatives in electrical vehicles

The Swedish Energy Agency is granting financial support of SEK 24 million to
Volvo Powertrain AB for the project "Slide In Technique for continuous transfer
of energy to electrical vehicles".

"We could be on the way to a paradigm shift in the development of electrical vehicles," says Anders Lewald, a Unit Manager at the Swedish Energy Agency, of the decision.

Electrical powertrains are a path to increased energy efficiency and vehicles that are not dependent on fossil fuels. The decision was taken by the Swedish Energy Agency's Energy R&D Board and means that Volvo Powertrain AB will receive SEK 24 million for co-operating with Scania, Bombardier, Volvo Cars, Saab Automobile, Elways AB, Svenska Elvägar AB, Vattenfall and the Swedish Transport Administration in order to assess methods for transferring electrical energy between road and vehicle.

"Due to the limited storage capacity of today's batteries, battery as energy storage is most appropriate for vehicles with a limited driving range. For longer distances and for vehicles that require high power, electrical operation via batteries is not possible. Therefore, the project can be an important element in increasing energy efficiency," says Ulf Jonson, an administrative official at the Swedish Energy Agency.

Different systems for transferring electrical energy directly to vehicles in motion will be assessed in this project. The project will examine both conductive (with contact) and inductive (contactless) transfer from road to vehicle. In order to increase the utility of an expanded system regarding the Swedish road network, it must be able to be used both for light and heavy vehicles.

The project has been granted support within one of FFI's five sub-programmes: Transport efficiency, Vehicle development, Vehicle & traffic safety, Energy & Environment and Sustainable production technology. The objective of FFI is to minimise the environmental effects of road transport, to minimise the number of traffic injuries and fatalities and to strengthen the Swedish automotive industry's international competitiveness.

About FFI

FFI is the Swedish acronym for Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation, a co-operative programme between the state (the Swedish Energy Agency, VINNOVA and the Swedish Transport Administration) and the automotive industry (Scania CV, AB Volvo, Volvo Cars, Saab Automobile and FKG) to jointly finance research, innovation and development activities with an emphasis on the areas of Climate & Environment as well as Safety. The efforts involve SEK 1 billion annually, of which half are public funds. During 2009, a total of 156 projects were financed.