Sweden to invest in new testbed for electric cars

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-23 04:27:40|Editor: yan
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STOCKHOLM, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Sweden will build its own national center to test different kinds of electric vehicles, Swedish public television broadcaster SVT reported on Monday.

Adapting to a more electric future is one of the big challenges facing the car industry. Now the government wants to expand cooperation between researchers and Swedish manufacturers.

"We have strong manufacturers in Sweden that are in the middle of this technological transformation and have to shift to electric in the future," Mikael Damberg, minister for enterprise and innovation, told SVT.

"We want a national campaign together with the Swedish manufacturing industry for electro mobility," he added.

Damberg and representatives for Volvo AB, Volvo Cars and Scania met Monday in Gothenburg to discuss the plans. Several universities also participated.

The research institute Rise has been tasked with a preliminary study focusing on how finance a center and where the test bed could be placed.

"As we see it, this is a substantial investment but it must be jointly financed. If the industry shows that it is serious, the state is prepared to invest money to make this test bed happen," Damberg said.

Rise already has a test center for self-driving cars and printed electronics. According to Pia Sandvik, CEO of Rise, the test bed for electric vehicles is a relatively large venture, both in terms of the physical size and the investment.

"This is an investment that will last for many years," she said. "Now we have to fill the test bed -- this lab -- with contents. What is the scope? Should it be gathered in one place? How big will the investment be and how will it be financed?"

Ann-Sofie Hermansson, head of the municipal board in Gothenburg, hopes it will land in Gothenburg, Sweden's second largest city, located on the west coast

"Quite a bit remains to do before everything is in place, but it would be fantastic for Gothenburg. It would create jobs and boost the long-term competitiveness for these businesses," Ann-Sofie Hermansson said.

Asked what the likelihood is of this center coming to fruition, Hermansson said, "Very good, I would say. That's what we hope at least. Given the excellent conditions we have, I am very hopeful."