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New tests on electric buses within the ElectriCity collaboration

After the successful tests on ElectriCity's demonstration arena on route 55 and EL16 in Gothenburg, the collaboration is now starting a new test bed for electric buses. The purpose is to accelerate innovation for public transport through tests in real urban traffic environments.
Helelektrisk ledbuss som använts inom ElectriCity. Foto: Volvo Group.

Between 2015 and 2020, the ElectriCity collaboration's demonstration arena for electrified bus traffic in cities was one of Sweden's and Europe's most interesting projects, where new technologies and services were tested. The successful tests led to one of Europe's largest procurements of electric buses. As Västtrafik and Transdev rolled out 145 new buses in the Gothenburg area in December 2020, the demonstration arena came to an end.

However, there has been great interest in continuing to push innovation by carrying out tests in real city traffic environments. Therefore, the ElectriCity collaboration has now applied for and been granted resources to start a test bed for this within a project.

The overall goal of the project is to provide a test bed for electric buses in public transport that enables innovative solutions to be tested and verified in various development and collaboration projects. The test bed, two all-electric articulated buses, will not be dedicated to specific route sections but will be able to be used on the routes and traffic sections that provide the best data, information and experience based on the needs of the specific test projects.

The test bed creates good conditions for various actors to test, develop and evaluate new ideas in real environments and be able to shorten the time from idea to commercialization and ready-made solutions with passenger, driver and societal benefits. The platform will also be an important arena for different parties in the value chain to collaborate and learn together in both existing and future development projects.

Among other things, the test bed may become an arena for testing of:

  • IT-related solutions
  • Physical design of buses
  • geofencing
  • vehicle-related tests regarding electrification and energy storage
  • projects where public transport customers, travelers and citizens, are involved as co-creators in the innovation process
  • automated functions, such as driver support of various kinds

The test bed will go live in July.

Volvo Buses, Västtrafik, Transdev and Lindholmen Science Park are participating in the project. The project aims to operate the test bed until the turn of the year 2022 with an ambition to operate the test bed further. The project is funded by the Public Transport Board in the Västra Götaland region and participating parties.