Chalmers University of Technology and RISE are now commencing construction of Sweden’s electromobility test centre: Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory (SEEL). Electrification of the transport sector is to be speeded up at SEEL’s three plants in Gothenburg, Nykvarn and Borås.
Through close collaboration between the twin owners Chalmers University of Technology and RISE, Sweden’s government and the industrial partners CEVT, Scania, Volvo Cars and the Volvo Group, the test centre will be a key resource – open to collaboration with players throughout Europe – in terms of making Sweden a world leader in the field of electromobility. Together, the governmental allocation, the industry partners’ commitments and proprietorial responsibility on the part of RISE and Chalmers will allow an investment of SEK 1.3bn in the test centre.
“Sweden has a long tradition of vehicle manufacture, and we are at the same time one of the world’s most innovative countries. Through SEEL we are making use of these strengths to electrify the transport sector, reduce emissions and simultaneously increase Sweden’s competitiveness and create jobs in Sweden. This will be an important tool with which the Swedish automotive industry can steer global development towards increased sustainability,” says Ibrahim Baylan, Sweden’s Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation. At the test centre’s three plants, industry, institutes and academia will test most of the types of technology and safety consideration required for electrified transport – including innovative new concepts at early stages of development. The test objects comprise a number of different kinds of components for electrical drivelines and energy storage intended for vehicles and ships, as well as systems for propulsion and energy management. Physically this means gearboxes, shaft systems, hubs, electric motors, power electronics, batteries and fuel cells.
The marine sector and aviation will also greatly benefit from the test centre – for testing and as a meeting place and platform for wide-ranging knowledge development in the field of electromobility.
“SEEL will increase the Swedish automobile industry’s competitiveness and contribute towards Sweden remaining at the cutting edge with regard to innovation within the transport sector. SEEL is very well placed to become a world-leading test centre for electromobility, and it will assume an important role in the automobile industry’s transitional work,” says Pia Sandvik, CEO of RISE.
The biggest of SEEL’s three plants is being constructed in Säve, Gothenburg, involving a planned area of 13,000 square metres. The plant will be able to meet the needs of developers of heavy and light vehicles, trucks and buses, construction equipment, aircraft and ships. Tests will be possible on all types of battery systems, including components from subcontractors. A wide range of testing in the field of electromobility will b+e offered at Säve. Safety tests will be the focus of the Borås plant, related to charging, short circuits, vibrations, mechanical shock, extreme temperatures and fire risks. In Nykvarn the emphasis of work will be on research and testing in the field of battery technology, and dynamic testing of components for heavy vehicles.
“Together with RISE, Chalmers has chosen to assume active proprietorial responsibility for the test bed, so as to facilitate the most efficient support for the Swedish and European automotive industries in their rapid transition to electromobility. The venture simultaneously provides us with excellent opportunities to further consolidate our research and education in the field of electromobility,” says Stefan Bengtsson, President and CEO of Chalmers University of Technology.
The automotive industry in Sweden has set ambitious targets for its technology transition, and the companies’ active involvement is promoting the strategic relevance of the technical testing opportunities currently being established. The test centre will simultaneously act as an open platform that will also welcome researchers, other big industrial companies, SMEs, professionals and students wishing to develop their knowledge.
The Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory will be operational by the second quarter of 2023. Procurement of contracts and equipment is currently in progress.