Västtrafik – electrifying West Sweden

Västtrafik – electrifying West Sweden

SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and communities pinpoints the public transport as an important tool for change. Västtrafik has set the bar high and aims at reducing CO2 emissions by 90 percent before 2035. The next step in the ambitious plan is electrification of the river ferry system in Gothenburg.

Västtrafik is the public transport authority and responsible for procuring public transport in the region of Västra Götaland, West Sweden. By successful use of biogas, liquid biofuels and ongoing electrification of the bus fleet Västtrafik has reduced CO2 emissions by 70 percent. To reach even further new steps are needed.

Today the ferry traffic depends heavily on fossil fuels. To reach the goal of reducing CO2 emission by 90 percent between 2006 and 2035 Västtrafik needs to electrify in a large scale, including the ferry traffic.

The potential is great. In general, the ferry traffic emits approximately 500 grams CO2 per passenger kilometre, while the public transport system in West Sweden as a whole emits about 17 g CO2/pkm.

When establishing new traffic on the River of Göta Älv, Västtrafiks’ goal is to create a fully electrified river ferry system that effectively connects people and businesses across the river.

This transformation will include new ferry locations ready for electric fast charging of the ferries while also becoming attractive hubs connecting different modes of sustainable transportation, including buses, trams and cycle routes.

The new electric ferries will accommodate fast and comfortable trips over the river and to further facilitate cycling the ferries will have a large and specially reserved space for cyclists and bikes.

Västtrafiks’ ferry fleet already includes a hybrid ferry. Experience so far shows that electrified ferry traffic is not only possible but also highly appreciated by travellers. Västtrafik is ready to take the next step!

Facts electrified river ferry system:

  • Approximately 14 Million passenger kilometers per year
  • 4 fully electric ferries needed
  • Plans for new ferry locations with fast charging
  • Focus on creating great passenger experience

Facts Västtrafik:

  • 355 million trips per year
  • 80 tendered partners
  • 9,7 billion in turnover
  • 37 ferrys in all



Contact information:

Hanna Björk
Sustainability Manager

Swedish green Recovery

The timing of the European Green Deal and the Climate law is excellent. Since around the time of the Paris agreement, there is an impatient willingness to act in the business sector, and we need authorities to catalyse this development.

The Swedish 2030-secretariat was founded to support Sweden’s ambition to decarbonize the transport sector. The Swedish Climate Law set an ambitious sector target for transport –  70 percent reduction of carbon dioxide by 2030. Through 70 partners from industry, municipalities and organisations the 2030-secretariat is supporting this ambitious development, independent of technical solutions or political parties. We are convinced that we need to work in parallel on behaviour, fuels (all low carbon or zero emission fuels) and vehicle technologies. All is needed.

We invited partners to send in proposals that fit well within Green recovery under the Green Deal. We have collected some 30 proposals, mostly in Sweden, in different areas using different technologies. We, the 2030-secretariat, are a Coalition of the willing with a focus on the target year 2030. There are many initiatives brewing in Sweden.

We strongly support initiatives like the Green recovery fund, and we see an increasing interest to take part. In this work we would like to stress the following:

• Allow for a multitude of solutions. We do not know which technology will be decisive, but we do know that many different technologies will be needed

• Changing our behaviour and the use of digital mobility is as important as legislation for vehicles or fuels. The 2020’s is the decade of digitalization, let’s invite digital solutions into the mobility sector

• Avoid having the good alternatives compete. The future is a combo; electricity, hydrogen, biofuels, biogas and some of the new fuels entering the market

• Do not separate fuels in generations or levels of sophistication. We are interested in the greenhouse gas reduction potential of the fuels, not what they are called

We sense a strong willingness to move forward, a season of change that is both needed and welcome. We hope that these initiatives can inspire. If you like an idea – steal it, if you want to participate, contact the person listed by the project. But most importantly, get inspired by what is possible.

The Swedish 2030-secretariat is made up of 70 partners from industry, municipalities and organisations joined in one common goal – supporting Sweden in reaching a 70 percent reduction of CO2 in the Swedish transport sector by 2030. We work in three areas, all equally important: vehicle technology, fuels and electrification and behaviour. All three important areas that need to deliver if we are to reach the climate target for the transport sector. The 2030-secretariat is independent from individual companies and political parties and does not favour any specific technology or solution. The reduction of CO2 is what counts. We are equally inspired by entrepreneurship and innovation as we are with grit, the on-going task of increasing efficiency. We need all to reach the climate targets.