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Electric bus trials begin in Espoo, Finland



VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is initiating test runs with an electric prototype bus in Espoo in spring 2013. The objective is to test the performance and properties of products from Finnish component manufacturers. The test runs are operated without passengers.

The electric bus used is a test vehicle for testing the performance of components from various manufacturers in laboratory conditions and in demanding Finnish climate conditions. The results will enable comparison of component properties with other products on the market.

The project will help Finland’s electric vehicle industry to design competitive components or subsystems for the international market.

The test bus was built in the eBus project coordinated by VTT and involving research scientists and actors interested in marketing electric vehicles or their components. The vehicle has a remarkably high degree of domestic origin. The Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences is responsible for system integration and assembly, while Aalto University is responsible for the simulation supporting the design work. The component suppliers include European Batteries (battery system) and Vacon (frequency converters). The test bus was built using a bus body manufactured by Kabus Oy.

Worldwide development of electric vehicles has already come a long way. VTT is now focusing its efforts on the area most suitable for Finland: the development of heavy-duty electric vehicles and machinery. VTT has a vehicle laboratory in Espoo for studying electric vehicles and their powertrains as comprehensive systems. The laboratory is equipped for measuring the properties of electric motors, electronic systems and batteries.

VTT has launched the TransSmart spearhead programme (Smart Mobility Integrated with Low-carbon Energy) as its response to the energy and climate challenges of the future. These challenges require the development of vehicles and forms of goods and passenger transport that are more energy-efficient, as well as the introduction of lower-carbon energy sources. Research projects under the TransSmart spearhead programme are seeking multi-discipline solutions by combining expertise in areas such as vehicles, traffic and energy systems, transport services, fuels and community planning.