The Swedish Government wants to invest in new test environment

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - Published by Christina Knudsen
The Swedish government has promised to invest about 105 million euro in a new test environment for electric vehicles at Lindholmen in Gothenburg. The move further strengthens the Gothenburg region’s position as one of the world’s leading clusters in the shifting automotive industry.

After the news of Geely’s innovation centre comes an additional big investment connected to Lindholmen Science Park. Furthermore, it is an investment with high expectations. Large actors in the region have been waiting for some time for a decision like this from the government. Electrification is a big trend in the shifting automotive industry. The likes of Volvo Trucks, Volvo Cars, Cevt and Geely have all announced ambitious plans around electric vehicles.

The new test centre will be owned by Chalmers University of Technology and Rise, the Swedish Research Institute, which is headquartered at Lindholmen. “It is about securing future jobs in Sweden and making sure that Swedish industry is at the forefront,” said Mikael Damberg, when he presented the news at a press conference at Lindholmen. In addition, he pointed out the ambitious plans of Gothenburg’s car developers, Volvo Cars and Cevt. In relation to this, he also said: “But we also know that heavy vehicle makers are also looking at electrification, especially connected to urban environments.” 

However, it still requires the parliament’s passing of the budget proposal and an agreement with industry on co-financing, otherwise there will be no state funding if the industry do not work under the same conditions. 

Furthermore, large actors Volvo, Volvo Cars, Scania and Cevt also took part in the press conference where they promised to invest – both for testing possibilities and for the skill supply benefits to an industry facing major changes.

One-stop shop with cooperation opportunities
The testbed gathers the automotive cluster with a dual focus on electromobility and renewable fuels, which is a sweet spot for international players targeting the whole range of future drive train options for both cars and heavy duty applications.

Thus, Gothenburg offers a unique possibility with parts of the city as a living lab for testing autonomous vehicles. Alongside with the automotive industry, the region has a wide presence of service suppliers and ICT companies, an industry that spurs innovation and attracts international companies and talent.

The exact location of the centre still needs to be resolved. Rise and Chalmers are together with the City of Gothenburg currently searching after a suitable property.