“Electric buses – part of the switch to fossil-free transport”

“Electric buses – part of the switch to fossil-free transport”

More public transport and more efficient forms of it are key factors for reducing emissions in cities. And electrified buses will play a decisive role in making the transition to becoming a fossil-free community.

These were the thoughts of the Swedish Minister for the Environment, Karolina Skog, at the inauguration of the Nordic region’s first wirelessly charged electric-bus line last Wednesday. The ceremony took place, fittingly enough, at the Tom Tits Experiment science museum in Södertälje where the new 755 bus line has its terminus.

The inauguration of the Nordic region’s first wirelessly charged electric-bus line attracted large interest from media.

The inauguration of the Nordic region’s first wirelessly charged electric-bus line attracted large interest from media.Peggy Bergman

Scania’s newly developed electric hybrid bus will operate in regular city traffic as a part of the company’s efforts to drive new and more sustainable public transport solutions for use in urban environments. The bus is rapidly charged using wireless inductive charging at its terminus. The process takes just seven minutes and the bus then has sufficient energy to complete its 10-kilometre route.

This marks the first time that wireless induction technology has been tested in the Nordic region.  Both the bus and the bus stop charging-solution are part of a research project in which Scania, Stockholm Public Transport (SL), energy company Vattenfall, Södertälje Municipality, and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology are working together to develop quiet and sustainable public transport. The project is financed in part through the Swedish Energy Agency.

Energy company Vattenfall’s CEO Magnus Hall, Swedish Minister for the Environment Karolina Skog and Anders Grundströmer, Head of Scania Sustainable City Solutions taking the first tour on Scania’s wirelessly charged electric hybrid bus.

Energy company Vattenfall’s CEO Magnus Hall, Swedish Minister for the Environment Karolina Skog and Anders Grundströmer, Head of Scania Sustainable City Solutions taking the first tour on Scania’s wirelessly charged electric hybrid bus.Peggy Bergman

“Electrification is a decisive part of creating a fossil-free community and in reducing emissions and noise to provide a better quality of life in cities,” said Karolina Skog. “Engaging forms of public transport will play a key role in this. Public transport will handle the growth in traffic that we are seeing in the world’s cities.”

The Minister for the Environment was one of several dignitaries who pressed a button at the bus charging station to mark the start of the project, as journalists and guests from the realms of politics, academia and business looked on. Other partners in the project were also present when the bus almost silently glided away on its first circuit. These included Anders Grundströmer, Head of Scania Sustainable City Solutions, Magnus Hall, CEO of Vattenfall, Göran Finnveden, Vice President at KTH, Kristoffer Tamsons, Traffic Commissioner for Stockholm county, and Boel Godner, the Mayor of Södertälje. Magnus Henke from the Swedish Energy Agency was also involved.

Swedish Minister for the Environment Karolina Skog said electrification is a decisive part of creating a fossil-free community.

Swedish Minister for the Environment Karolina Skog said electrification is a decisive part of creating a fossil-free community.Peggy Bergman

”We are today demonstrating the power of good cooperation between the public, research and business sectors,” said Skog. “It is this kind of systematic work that will enable us to make the transition to becoming fossil free. It’s a great feeling to be here today.”

Kristoffer Tamsons och Boel Godner used the inauguration ceremony to emphasise that they had high expectations of the new technology.

“Stockholm county wants to be at the forefront in terms of environmentally friendly and engaging public transport, and we know that environmental factors are important for our citizens,” Tamsons said. “We have long been a pioneer when it comes to renewable fuels. Ten years ago two out of ten buses in Stockholm were operated on renewable fuel. Today, it’s nine out of ten. And my goal is to have 100 percent operating on renewable fuel within two years.”

Scania Citywide Electric Hybrid with inductive charger Södertälje, Sweden Photo: Dan Boman 2016

Scania Citywide Electric Hybrid with inductive charger.Dan Boman

Godner believes the wirelessly charged electric bus will have great significance for Södertälje as a municipality. “We want to be a sustainable municipality and this is an important part of achieving that goal,” she said. “I hope that this helps us to entice even more people to use public transport.”

Scania hosted the event and Anders Grundströmer says there were good discussions between the various partners. “This type of arrangement, where the business, political and academic sectors work together, is what is required to drive the coming shifts. Scania is pushing the boundaries within sustainable solutions for urban environments and the project that we are now implementing together here in Södertälje will be an important demonstrator for cities around the world to follow.”