‘Collaboration is crucial to keep leading the way in electromobility’

Per Österström
Business Region Göteborg's Per Österström, who coordinated Sweden's participation at EVS35.

When the electric vehicle industry gathered in Oslo for EVS35, the Electric Vehicle Symposium, key actors from Sweden joined forces to showcase the country’s capabilities and ecosystem. Per Österström, our head of foreign direct investment, was the coordinator for Sweden’s participation and the Swedish Pavilion, which gathered around 100 delegates representing the private, public and academic sectors. We asked him some questions to find out more about this year’s conference.

You have been at EVS35 in Oslo, can you tell us about the conference?

“EVS Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition is probably the most important conference and meeting place for the electric vehicle industry in the world. The conference gathers decision makers, representatives from industry, researchers, public actors, government representatives and organization from across the world. Technology, policies, regulations, trends and business – you get a complete picture of the global development around electrification, not to mention opportunities to meet industry actors from the entire value chain.”

Why did Sweden have a pavilion there? 

“We at Business Region Göteborg believe it is vital from a regional and national perspective to have close ties between the private, public and academic actors around this technology shift. It’s also incredibly important that in Sweden we join forces and show the benefits of investing and developing tomorrow’s solutions in our country. From a regional perspective, it is a crucial matter for our regional growth and future jobs.” 

“We are country with great a foundation for driving this transition. We have a clear innovation agenda, are world leading within sustainability, have good possibilities to produce green electricity and a proven track record in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship. We have excellent pre-conditions, but our long-term success will be determined by how well we collaborate and market Sweden's strengths together. We have an interdependence, and we are all co-responsible for our future. Therefore, we have made a big commitment together with Sweden and Gothenburg's two largest companies, the Volvo Group and Volvo Cars.”

“The Swedish delegation consisted of nearly 100 people, including representatives from Business Region Göteborg, the Volvo Group, Volvo Cars, Business Sweden and around 10 other partner businesses and organizations.”

The Swedish Pavilion at EVS35
The Swedish Pavilion at EVS35

What did Gothenburg present in the Swedish Pavilion?  

“We had a city model over central Gothenburg. Here we show how the city will develop in the future and how we see an efficient and emission free mobility and transport system that improves quality of life for residents and is integrated into urban development. We exemplified with two exciting, collaborative projects, that we have been involved in. One of them was ElectriCity, which has generated one of northern Europe’s largest electrified urban bus fleets. The other was Gothenburg Green City Zone, a joint initiative from industry, academia and public actors to create emission free zones in the city.”

“The Volvo Group and Volvo Cars, together with other partners from the region, also showcased new innovations that illustrated our leading position in the transition towards electrified mobility and transportation.”

“Northvolt and Volvo Cars also held a talk on their joint investment in the new battery manufacturing plant and battery R&D centre in Gothenburg, which will create over 3,000 direct jobs.”

What were some of the highlights and key takeaways from the conference?

“The conference showcased many new actors with fully developed concepts, covering everything from cars, light and heavy vehicles, and solutions within micromobility to charging infrastructure and aircraft. It is clear that the conference, which started as a research conference in 1969, in recent years has included more and more commercial solutions and products. After five days at the conference, we come away with lots of inspiration and new contacts. It is also clear that there is strong interest in Sweden and our innovations.”

“Cars and transportation are big contributors to global CO2 emissions so the transition to emission-free solutions is crucial for the future of humanity. It also impacts our future jobs and growth in Sweden - and in Gothenburg in particular. Those businesses that don’t transition will become irrelevant and will be penalised more and more with regards to the regulatory changes taking place, not least in the EU. But the shift is massive and will require new partners and collaboration on many fronts. For example, in Sweden it is crucial that we work together to continue attracting top talent, investors and partners in the values chains so that we can keep making rapid advances and leading the way.”


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Per Österström
Head of foreign direct investments at Business Region Göteborg
+46 31 367 6128 or per.osterstrom@businessregion.se