Major investment in electric planes in Gothenburg

Illustration: Castellum / Heart Aerospace / Nils Andréasson architects

Fast growing company Heart Aerospace is investing heavily in the production of battery-driven planes in Gothenburg and expects to grow to 500 people within three years. Together with airport owner Castellum, it is investing in a new campus for electric aircraft industry at Säve Airport.

Gothenburg company Heart Aerospace currently has 130 employees from 23 different countries, who are developing the firm’s first model, a battery driven regional plane for up to 30 passengers, ES-30. On Thursday, it was presented for the first time to global media.

Heart Aerospace’s new facility at Säve airport, which will be called “Northern Runway”, includes a new headquarter, a research and development centre, a prototype hangar, a test-flight hangar, as well as a final assembly hall. Säve has no commercial flight traffic, which gives the company good access to its own runway.

“We are very proud that Heart Aerospace has chosen Gothenburg for this stage of its expansion. In addition to expected 500 employees during this first phase, their activities will generate an additional 500 jobs in Sweden by 2025, and even more once serial production gets underway. We also expect a growing influx of expertise and capital to Gothenburg, which is already a world leader in future mobility,” says Patrik Andersson, CEO at Business Region Göteborg.

New era in aviation
The venture is perhaps the most exciting the European aviation industry has seen in decades. 21 established airlines, airport owners and leasing companies from around the world are part of a board advising Heart Aerospace on the design of its concept. Air Canada and Swedish Saab announce today that they are joining as shareholders.

“We aren’t just building a new electric airliner, but rather a new industry,” says Anders Forslund, founder and CEO at Heart Aerospace. “With Northern Runway we will make electric air travel a reality and preserve flying for future generations.”

Heart Aerospace’s expansion is a cornerstone in Castellum’s ambition for the whole of Gateway Säve, a three million sqm area around the airport, which will be an important hub for electric mobility. For example, right next to where Heart Aerospace will have its headquarters, Chalmers University of Technology and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden have established the Swedish electric transport laboratory, SEEL.

“This investment marks a new epoch within the aviation industry and it’s also an important milestone in the realisation of Gateway Säve as a world-class arena for the development of sustainable mobility solutions and a national centre for fossil-free mobility,” says Mariette Hilmersson, managing director for Castellum Region West.

Gothenburg – a leader in several types of transport
Through innovative and large-scale investments in recent years from companies including the Volvo Group, Volvo Cars, Northvolt, Polestar, Geely, Einride, Stena, the Port of Gothenburg and Wireless Car, Gothenburg has already taken a strong and progressive position within sustainable mobility. Now the region’s importance for the green transition is even greater, both nationally and internationally.

“This is further confirmation that Gothenburg offers the strengths that are needed within future mobility. A strong supply of skills, a labour force with niche expertise, advanced research and a capacity to innovate, not least through Chalmers, relevant testbeds and laboratories, as well as specialist suppliers – is what we can offer. Few regions can match the scope and depth of the Gothenburg transportation ecosystem,” says Patrik Andersson.

To reinforce the operations at Gateway Säve specifically, Business Region Göteborg is also developing a plan to establish an open innovation environment focused on electrification and electric aviation, in cooperation with Region Västra Götaland.

The first phase of Heart Aerospace’s expansion will be complete in mid-2024, and the first tests of their new electric airliner will be initiated in 2026. Heart Aerospace expects to deliver its first planes to customers in 2028.

Read more about:

Important facts on Gothenburg

The automotive sector in Gothenburg

Gothenburg’s approach to electrified transport

Heart Aerospace

Gateway Säve

See also fact sheet (pdf) on Gothenburg's position in E-mobility.