Electrical vehicles, cable cars, and fuel diversity were presented as important solutions to reach a future with sustainable mobility on the Public Transport Fair in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, October 18-20.

Electrical Vehicles

“Electrical vehicles are the future solution for green transport and to reach zero emission” says Pernilla Johansson, spokesperson at the fair for Volvo Buses AB.

In June 2015, a bus line consisting of only electrical hybrid buses called Route 55 started operating in the central part of Gothenburg. Due to the fact that the buses are so silent, stops are located both indoors and outdoors. Each bus offers free wifi as well as five bus stops, two of which function as charging stations for the buses as well.

Route 55 is a part of the project “Electricity”, a collaborative and cross-functional cooperation between private industry, the academic world and local society. The partners are Volvo Group, Keolis, Chalmers University of Technology, the City of Gothenburg, Västtrafik and the Urban Transport Administration, to mention a few.

The electricity that charges the buses is provded by Vattenfall and is produced specifically by wind power. Due to the act that the batteries are very heavy, the main problem that the project faces is long-distance travel. “Developmentneeds to speed up and we are still waiting for the next generation batteries of tomorrow,” explains Ms Johansson.

The concept of the bus line is derived from the 3 pillars that Volvo Buses AB are base their work upon: Safety, Quality and Environment. “Environment is very important”, says Ms Johansson. “We need to change our behaviour in the whole world and we need to work together for a better future with sustainable mobility.”

Diversity of Fuels

“There is not one single solution to reach zero emission. Diversity is the key,” says Viktor Phils, spokesperson at the fair for Scania Cars Sweden AB. Scania operates on basis of 3 pillars as well; alternative fuels, safe energy and sustainable transport systems.

The solutions offered by Scania today are alternative fuels such as biogas, ethanol and biodiesel. For that reason, Scania offers hybrid buses in order to use the buses in an optimal way. Local accessibility to different products, especially those available in different countries is also very important to this optimization.

“Scania is a global company and therefore the problems hindering sustainable mobility can be very different in different parts of the world,” says Mr Phils. “For example, India has a huge waste problem and therefore the solution is to use waste to create fuel for the buses.”

City planning is another important factor that affects which kinds of buses are used in the city, in comparison to the ones used in the countryside. “For example, electric buses can be a good solution in dense traffic, and biogas driven buses are a good solution for outside the city,” explains Mr Phils.

“Smart transport systems mean more people will leave their cars at home”.

Cable Cars

The regional public transport company Västtrafik offered a virtual tour of the future cable car network at the fair which is planned to start operation in 2021. Every 45 seconds, there will be a new cable car to board. The system will be able to move 2000-3000 travellers per hour in each direction of the line. The cable car will be a valuable addition to the public transport system in the city, connecting both sides of the river.

Apart from being an effective solution for the city, it is also an environmental friendly solution since there will be no direct carbon emission.  There are several cities offering cable cars as a part of their public transport system in Europe, such as Bolzano in Italy, Koblenz in Germany and Mayrhofen in Austria to mention a few.

Writer: Rebecca Timm