The Swedish city of Gothenburg is home to one of the largest and busiest ports in the world. Despite this, the city has set a rather ambitious climate goal for itself. With the help newly created urban zones that will serve as test beds for advanced sustainable technologies, Gothenburg plans to become a climate-neutral city by the year 2030. What’s more, they’ve enlisted Volvo to help.
The initiative, called Gothenburg Green City Zone, aims to establish an area inside the port city that is completely free of carbon emissions. For its part, Volvo Cars — along with its parent company, Geely — will provide a variety of climate-neutral transportation modes and a connected infrastructure, but the move isn’t just a PR gain for Volvo. Using a real city as a testing ground will enable Volvo to accelerate development of technologies like autonomous taxis, which will be operated by Swedish mobility provider, M.
“We want to use our knowledge and technology to help create a future city that is electrified, connected, shared and climate-neutral,” said Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo Cars. “This is an opportunity to lead by example, by testing new technologies and services in a live large scale environment, we can show that if it is possible here, it is possible anywhere.”
Some examples of the other technologies set to be tested in Gothenburg’s neutral zones include geo-enabling solutions and connected services that will ensure hybrid cars operate only in electric-only mode and within legal speed limits, for example. Traffic infrastructure that can connect to active safety features in cars and share information between road users will also be tested.
“The main obstacle to climate transition is not a lack of climate-friendly and smart technologies, but the capacity to implement them,” reads the official release from Volvo Cars. “The transformation requires a holistic approach to foster innovation and a deep and continuous collaboration between all stakeholders.” That approach, by the way, includes plans for Volvo Cars to be a climate-neutral company by 2040, which means expanding the use of vegan interior materials in place of animal-source leather and adhesives, as well as the company-wide elimination of single-use plastics, more energy-efficient manufacturing, and a commitment to build cars using materials that are both recycled and recyclable.
What do you guys think? Is this simply a PR move for Gothenburg and the city’s largest and most visible company, or is there real commitment here from the city’s leadership to make it a better place to live for everyone? Head on down to the comments section and give us your take on all this.
Source | Images: Volvo Cars.
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