UITP Awards: ElectriCity powers Västtrafik and Volvo’s innovative bus initiative

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The UITP Awards celebrate the most innovative and ambitious sustainable mobility projects from across the world, contributing to the sector objective of doubling the market share of public transport by 2025.

The 2017 UITP Awards were handed out during the Global Public Transport Summit in Montréal. We sat down with each winner to learn more about their project and to pick their brain about innovation in the sector.

Winner of Award for ‘Operational and Technical Excellence’: Västtrafik and Volvo Group for ElectriCity.

ElectriCity is an electric bus demonstration project implemented in Gothenburg, Sweden, connecting two university campuses. The project includes a fleet of seven electric hybrid buses and three fully electric buses (designed by Volvo exclusively for the project), as well as charging stations and bus stops. ElectriCity fosters closer cooperation between the industry and the public sector to create sustainable mobility solutions for the city of Gothenburg, providing a world-class example of innovative public transport services for the future.

Roger Vahnberg, Senior Vice President and Deputy CEO of Västtrafik, answered our questions.

What are some of the most notable highlights of this project?

The partnership between industry, the city, region and academia is unique and definitely one of the major reasons for the success of ElectriCity. Also by lowering emissions, decreasing energy consumption and spreading silence we make our cities more sustainable and attractive.

What is innovative about this project and how does it push the sector forward?

ElectriCity is more than a bus route, it is a demo arena for public transport, where we test and evaluate new solutions with the ultimate goal of making public transport more attractive. By testing in real conditions and real traffic we can learn a lot. Silent, emission-free buses open up new opportunities in city planning.

Silent, emission-free buses open up new opportunities in city planning

What lessons can other public transport stakeholders learn from this project?

That partnership is key in order to achieve the restructuring of the transport sector that is necessary to create sustainable cities. ElectriCity is proof that through partnership between business, academia and the public sector we can make this change happen.

How does ElectriCity benefit public transport users?

By shifting to electric buses in public transport we contribute to making our cities more liveable and attractive. From surveys we know that both passengers and drivers highly appreciate the silent, comfortable ride that comes with an electric drivetrain. They also appreciate the free WiFi and on-board charging. For buyers of electric buses, this is an excellent way to demonstrate the benefits of electrified buses and to experience the product in real life. We have visitors from all over the world coming to Gothenburg to meet Volvo, Västtrafik and the other stakeholders, to hear about the partnership, and to ride the buses.

 

Stay tuned for interviews with the remaining winners of the UITP Awards.

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