Conference will pave the way for electrification

A woman Lina Nordin
Lina Nordin is looking forward to the conference where she will be participating in different ways. Photo: Satu/VTI

We need to increase the pace of electrifying road transport if we are to meet the set goals of a fossil-free vehicle fleet. How this is going to be achieved will be the focus of the Charging Ahead: The Electrification of Transport Infrastructure conference being held on 19 and 20 March in Lund. One of the organisers is EVolution Road – an electric road consortium to which VTI belongs.

VTI Research Director Lina Nordin will be moderating the conference together with Per Löfberg from Elonroad. However, she has also another important role – she is the co-author of an analysis of all forms of electrification available to help the transport sector make its transition and achieve emission targets of EU.

‘Currently, we don’t seem to be able to achieve these goals. What will it take to speed up the electrification process and see results? In this meta study, we compiled information about the transition and now we will provide our conclusions.’

The sustainability goals involve reducing the EU’s carbon emissions by 55 per cent by 2030 compared to the levels in 1990. By 2045, Sweden must have reached net zero emissions, and then continue to achieve negative emissions.

‘The analysis will form a basis of the conference where further discussions will take place,’ says Lina Nordin, who hopes to attract decision makers and others with the power to positively influence the transition through policy decisions.

The meta study was procured through EVolution Road, financed by the Swedish Transport Administration. It was led by Jakob Rogstadius, Senior Researcher at RISE. The other co-authors of the study apart from Lina Nordin, are Professor Mats Alaküla Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, LTH, Francisco Márquez Fernández, associate senior lecturer at LTH and Patrick Plötz, Coordinator at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI in Germany.

‘This is the main group. A large international reference group with links to electrification also participated,’ Lina Nordin adds.

Twelve international senior experts from organisations such as Alstom, Daimler Trucks, Cambridge University, DHL and the Swedish Transport Administration will examine the results to assure their quality.

‘It is an organic collaboration, which is an unusual method but it has resulted in new conclusions since the start of the project,’ says Lina Nordin.

The analysis and conclusions from the conference will eventually result in a research article. Electric roads – the focus of the EVolution Road consortium – can be one component in the mixture of fossil-free transports. Researchers are looking at this technology as an essential complement.

‘It will also be possible for other vehicles to benefit from electric roads, not just trucks that have been the focus so far. They were the necessary starting point, but we need not stop there, electric roads can be used by passenger vehicles too,’ Lina Nordin explains.

The conference will also be hosting Lars Godboldt, Advisor at the Norwegian EV Association. Lina Nordin continues, ‘Norway is seeing a positive development in terms of electric vehicles. However, if their transition maintains its current pace, they will not be able to meet the goals of fossil free transportation by 2050. Still, our neighbours have made good inroads. For example, Norway has made it cheaper to both buy and own an electric vehicle compared to those that run on fossil fuels.’

The first day of the conference will provide an overview and deeper understanding of the challenges and solutions electrification faces. On day two, the conference will delve deeper into the topic. There will be round table discussions on several subjects on everything from the final kilometres of the logistics chain to how electric roads can provide increased value in terms of smart solutions.

Charging Ahead: The Electrification of Transportation Infrastructure ( External link.

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