A case study exploring firefighters’ and municipal officials’ preparedness for electrical vehicles


Purpose: This study presents a social perspective on new vehicle technology. It explores the self-reported preparedness of the fire departments (i.e., rescue services) in Sweden’s three largest cities regarding rescue operations involving electrical vehicles (EVs).

Methods: In this multi-method study, in-depth interviews were performed with emergency service officers and municipal officers in each city.

Results: The results indicate that firefighters have little experience of accidents with EVs and they are learning reactively. The risks were not clearly identified. More knowledge is needed of identifying and disconnecting electricity in EVs. A more efficient way to find information about new vehicles is vital concerning the safety aspect in rescue operations. The level of knowledge about new vehicle technology varied between departments. For the municipal officers, environmental aspects are of most interest, whereas safety and rescue operations involving EVs are rarely addressed. The responsibility for disseminating information about the safe handling of EVs was unclear.

Conclusion: The fire departments need more resources for education and training to keep up with technical developments and to be proactive. Another desired development is a solution for easy access to vehicle information. Since the environmental issues are setting the agenda, not the safety issues, lesser environment risks could become greater safety risks. We stress the need for various occupational decision making at all levels of society to cooperate in order to take responsibility for the safe introduction for new more environmentally friendly transport vehicle technique and disseminating safety information in a collected and systematic way.



Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) workshop in Stockholm

An open seminar and workshop in Stockholm will be held on 25-26 April 2018. The workshop deals with the use of CBA as a basis for decision-making in the public sector. The workshop is organized by, among others, Professor Jan-Eric Nilsson, VTI.



Ulf Sandberg has been presented with the TTI Lifetime Achievement Award 2018

VTI’s Senior Research Leader Ulf Sandberg has been presented with the TTI Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 for his work on research into tyres and road surface.


Steps need to be taken to increase traffic safety of automated cars

Several steps are necessary to ensure that automated and connected cars will lead to increased traffic safety – everything from ensuring that technology takes vulnerable road users into account, to new forms of driver training. This has emerged in a position...


FALCON examines challenges in the transport sector

VTI is one of several important partners in the major FALCON project*, whose purpose is to create knowledge and insight regarding the transport sector. In an initial subproject, VTI has produced a manual on transport, logistics and multimodality.


VTI joined research cooperation in China

In December 2017 VTI became a member of China-Sweden Research Centre for Traffic Safety (CTS).


Swedish German research collaboration on Electric Road Systems

The project “Swedish-German research collaboration on Electric Road Systems” (CollERS) has now officially started. The goal of the project is to increase the common knowledge around Electric Road Systems by cooperation between Germany and Sweden and to...


Electric Road Systems Conference 2018

After a successful first conference in June 2017, the Swedish research and innovation platform for electric roads is arranging the second dedicated International Conference on Electric Road Systems (ERS) June 13th and 14th 2018.