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Research on electrification of transportation links Sweden and China

Research on electrification of transportation system
Source: Halmstad University

[Halmstad University] Halmstad University will investigate the driving forces behind China’s rapid transition to electric power in the transport sector. In collaboration between Halmstad University, the Swedish Transport Administration, Jönköping University and the Swedish Road and Transport Research Institute, a new research project is going to investigate how China has been able to position itself as an electric car country in such a short time.

“Together, we can transform societies into more sustainable solutions,” says project manager Professor Mike Danilovic, Halmstad University. By 2019, 28 million electric cars had been sold in China, and in the next few years, the Chinese people are expected to buy 7 million electric cars annually. 98 percent of the world’s electric buses can be found in China and in year 2020 about 800,000 new charging stations are planned for.

At the same time, Sweden and several other European countries are investing in electrification of the transport system on a broad front.

“To succeed, this needs to be seen from a system perspective that takes into account the development of intelligent and smart cities and communities and how we can ensure rapid electrification of vehicles with supply of renewable electricity” says Mike Danilovic, professor of industrial organization at Halmstad University , and points out: “The development must be seen from an international perspective to ensure knowledge transfer and to create mutual learning in order to find the best solutions.”

It is against this background that the new research project starts in collaboration between Halmstad University, the Swedish Transport Administration, Jönköping University and the Swedish Road and Transport Research Institute. The purpose of the project is to develop both an academic and an industrial platform for the transfer of knowledge between Sweden and China.

“We want to better understand how the development in China can affect the conditions for the development of sustainable, mainly electrified, transport system solutions in Sweden, explains Mike Danilovic.

Collaboration between universities and companies in the two countries will contribute to increased knowledge and understanding of the technical and commercial development of electrified transport systems and the renewable energy supply. In parallel, business models will be examined that enable a transition to a more sustainable society through electrification of transport systems.

“We will explore the development and implementation of technology for electrification of vehicles and transport systems from a system perspective based on intelligent and smart cities. For example, it can be about new technology such as fuel cells, bioenergy and different types of batteries, and about roads where smart and intelligent electrical technology is built in so that the vehicle is charged while you drive” says Mike Danilovic.

One of the goals of the research project is to link Swedish and Chinese universities, research institutes, industry and other partners in order to create an arena where knowledge can be created and shared. “We have a lot to learn from China when it comes to electrification of transport systems and smart cities and communities, and the Chinese can in turn learn from us in matters such as sustainable development and technological development. Together, we can transform societies into more sustainable solutions,” states Mike Danilovic.

The project runs over two years and is expected to be completed in December 2022. The project is funded by the Swedish Transport Administration.