ABB and TestInfra Sweden to test electric vehicle (EV) operation on public winter roads

ABB and TestInfra Sweden to test electric vehicle (EV) operation on public winter roads

  • Aim to make northern Sweden the world's leading test region for the transport sector's transition to electricity
  • Making it possible for EV drivers to get safe, smart and sustainable vehicles of the future tested in both -40 and + 30 ⁰C
  • ABB will power the vehicles with two Terra HP chargers (350 kW)

The team behind the SPGA, the car testing industry's collaborative organization Swedish Proving Ground Association, formed TestInfra Sweden AB earlier this year. The aim of TestInfra is to accelerate electrification in the winter testing region and to support a rapid transition to sustainable transport in Europe and globally. The first agreement has now been signed to secure testing during the coming winter. ABB will provide the charging infrastructure with its Terra high-power chargers.

"We are one of the major suppliers of the charging infrastructure inside the test facilities, and we are happy to supply our Terra HP chargers for final road testing on public roads this winter,” said Eva Kvist Östgren, head of ABB's e-mobility business in Sweden.

Eva Kvist Östgren, head of ABB's e-mobility business in Sweden
Eva Kvist Östgren, head of ABB's e-mobility business in Sweden

Northern Sweden offers unique opportunities to accelerate the global development towards a sustainable transport sector, both for vehicles and charging infrastructure. With a four seasons context, the Nordic winter is the fundament to test and validate the next generation of robust and sustainable vehicles, in both -40 and + 30 ⁰C. The transition needs to happen quickly, and Sweden can play an important role. TestInfra Sweden AB wants to work together with industry, the academy and society to expand the infrastructure in Norrbotten and Västerbotten.

"In a few years' time, we estimate that almost all cars tested in the region will be chargeable electric vehicles. Most of the testing will take place inside our test facilities, but the final stages will take place on public roads, and public fast charging is non-existent in the test region," says Michael Lindeman, chairman of TestInfra Sweden AB.

The international flow of testing customers provides unique opportunities to build knowledge for vehicles with battery and fuel cell technology. Region Norrbotten, Vattenfall and Luleå University of Technology are working together to ensure the rapid integration of e-mobility into the electricity grid.

"With all that is happening in industry and its electrification, we see a great need to start building knowledge about the future energy systems and associated testing needs. ," says Nils-Olov Lindfors, at Region Norrbotten.

An important topic for sustainable power supply is dynamic load balancing in the grid, to be able to balance power peaks. Vattenfall is already running the FoU project "Flex Connect" in Riksgränsen to enable a flexible connection agreement for fast charging in areas with capacity shortages. The widespread introduction of e-mobility is not only a challenge, but also an opportunity, in a grid with more and more renewable electricity.

SPGA are interested in looking into alternatives as "power-pooling", meaning parked electric vehicles to support the grid with electricity during peak hours: “If 6-7 percent of the Swedish vehicle fleet were to "lend out" 20 kilometers from their parked electric car during a peak hour it could provide the energy equivalent to the power of a nuclear reactor”, says Robert Granström, chairman of SPGA.

Sarah Rönnberg at LTU's Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics concludes: “Next winter, we and Vattenfall will jointly focus on studying the impact of electric vehicle chargers on the grid and planning the next steps in our tests. In winter 2022-23, we also expect to be able to study how batteries can help stabilize the electricity grid, using public charging points as a starting point.”

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