The Swedish Energy Agency is backing efforts to create a new programme for research in energy efficient vehicles

The automotive industry is facing substantial challenges which are increasing the need for research and accumulation of knowledge. The Swedish Energy Agency has thus taken the decision to grant the research programme entitled Energy-efficient Vehicles SEK 80 million.

The new research programme Energy-efficient Vehicles comprises a fundamental complement to the more market-oriented efforts that are already on-going in co-operation between the Agency and the vehicle industry, by it being directed first and foremost towards universities and university colleges.

"The programme will come to play a strategically important role for the development of knowledge and competence within the area since the need for highly educated personnel is growing. We see it as a completely necessary investment in the work of attaining the vision of a fossil-free society," says Greger Ledung of the Swedish Energy Agency.

The research programme that the Swedish Energy Agency is now granting SEK 80 million will take place between 2011 and 2015, and will encompass the following areas:

Electrical, electrical hybrid, rechargeable hybrid and other hybrid vehicles incl. fuel cell vehiclesVehicles with energy-efficient internal combustion engines using renewable and fossil fuelsAerodynamics, application of lightweight and other technologies in order to minimise the fuel consumption of vehicles

The increased demands on roadway vehicles involve the automotive industry having to invest substantial resources in the improvement of existing technology, developing new types of vehicles and propulsion systems as well as adapting engines to new types of fuels. For the Swedish automotive industry to be able to meet the challenges and to be competitive in the future, the accumulation of knowledge is required and good access to trained engineering researchers and scientists within the area.

The Swedish transport sector converts petrol and diesel corresponding to approx. 85 TWh annually, which is more than 17 percent of the energy usage in Sweden. Due to the transport sector's strong fossil dependency, it corresponds to over 40 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions of the country.