Lab for smart city logistics
The largest urban development project in the Nordics is now under way in Gothenburg. This is where the sustainable and attractive city of the future is being built, and several projects are currently leading the way. Passenger transport and goods transport are important cornerstones, and several interesting projects are under way in these areas. The key concepts are electrification and smart logistics solutions.
Västtrafik, the regional public transport company, is investing heavily in electric buses for its city networks across the region. Parallel to this, several projects are under way to electrify and optimise goods transport. One of them is SMOOTh, a three-year research project to create hubs and digital solutions for smart and sustainable city logistics. The project participants include Volvo Group, the City of Gothenburg, IVL, RISE, several logistics companies and Nordstan, a large shopping mall in the city centre.
Nordstan is Sweden’s largest business centre, housing 200 stores and 6,000 office workers and attracting 30 million visitors each year. Here we find great potential for improvements in logistics, as today the underground goods access road used to supply the entire shopping centre each day is operating at only a fraction of its capacity.
A study conducted by IVL shows that many delivery vehicles entering the inner city are only carrying half loads. If a system of hubs could be developed, the number of deliveries to the city centre could be cut by 40–50 percent. This would mean less traffic, less emissions and lower costs. The access road in Nordstan shopping centre is being transformed into a living lab for city logistics in the SMOOTh project. Here, stakeholders can work together to find the best solutions by trial and error.
More projects helping to create a sustainable city
Fossil-free river crossings
Electric power is also the future of Gothenburg’s ferry traffic. In the autumn of 2019, the first hybrid electric ferry was introduced in traffic crossing the Göta Älv, and all ferry services crossing the river are to be electrified by 2030. This is being done by, among other things, expanding the ElectriCity project to include a maritime arena, with Volvo Penta as one of the stakeholders.
Electric buses only by 2030
Västtrafik is now responsible for the largest-ever investment in electric buses in Sweden. By the end of 2020, some 220 electric buses will be in service in city networks in Region Västra Götaland. By 2030, all city network buses operated by Västtrafik will be electrified.
Transition in progress: Business Region Göteborg has been commissioned to coordinate the City of Gothenburg’s combined efforts to transition to an electrified transport system by 2030. This work is to be conducted in a partnership between the city, trade and industry, and regional stakeholders.
Text: Sven Eric Lindberg
This article is an excerpt from “Magasin Göteborg”. To read the entire Magazine (in Swedish), click here.