Six green city solutions in Gothenburg – sustainable transport, road safety and waste handling

This year’s POLIS conference will be held in Gothenburg, on Sweden’s west coast. POLIS is a network of European cities and regions who come together to develop innovative technologies and policies for local transport – and the 2021 Annual Conference sees delegates arriving from a host of forward-thinking destinations and European green capitals, aiming to make a difference to the future of transportation.
Six green city solutions in Gothenburg – sustainable transport, road safety and waste handling

Fittingly, the host city has repeatedly been named as one of the most sustainable destinations on the planet, having topped the Global Destination Sustainability Index rankings since 2016 – leading CNN to describe it as the “world’s greenest city.” It’s no surprise, then, that sustainability permeates so many aspects of life in Gothenburg.


Gothenburg has been the testing ground and launch environment for several green transport technologies – technologies which subsequently have quickly been adapted into the day-to-day running of the city, on a broad scale. Here’s how six of the most high-profile – and essential – green city transport and construction solutions have developed.

1. Electric buses: part of the ElectriCity green city project 

2015 saw the roll-out of Volvo’s electrified buses in GothenburgThey were put on the road as part of the ElectriCity green city project, in association with the local transport authority Västtrafik, the technology university Chalmers, and ABB – who supplied the city’s charging stations – among others. 

Today, there are around 200 electrified Volvo buses on the city’s streets, serving 34 routes in and around Gothenburg: with the sleek, quiet vehicles having become a familiar part of the city’s urban landscape.

2. Digging into sustainable solutions 

If you’re in Gothenburg and near an area in which construction is taking place, you might see our compact, powerful electric construction equipment hard at work reshaping the city in a cleaner, quieter fashion. Volvo Construction Equipment has also teamed up with municipalities, academia and industry partners in Gothenburg to create a landmark study in the viability of electric construction equipment in different types of job sites worldwide.

3. Electric trucks contribute to a quieter and cleaner city 

Volvo’s electric trucks offering also includes charging equipment, and is complemented by uptime, range optimization, route planning and service tools. The result is quieter, cleaner and more sustainable deliveries: essential in a busy and thriving urban area like Gothenburg.

4. Electric refuse trucks operating in Gothenburg since 2019 

For the city to be able to meet its ambitious emissions goals – which include a 90% reduction in emissions from heavy goods transportation by 2030 – all aspects of the future of transport need to be considered, with waste management being a major part of this. Refuse collection started Volvo’s electric truck journey: the company was asked to create an electric truck by the Department of Environment and Water in 2016, and development of the full range stemmed from there. And: the electric refuse trucks have been on the road for a while already.

5. Road safety through the geofencing solution Zone Management 

Today’s generation of electric vehicles also tend to be connected, which helps show us the way towards smarter, safer urban areas in an eco-friendly city. Via geofencing, certain areas in Gothenburg can be marked as “sensitive” – like streets near schools, for instance. When a vehicle enters these areas, its speed can be limited to a certain level, reducing the risk of accidents and giving extra peace of mind to residents and visitors alike. The technology has been implemented on Volvo’s electrified city buses: trucks will follow in 2022.

6. Giving bus batteries a second life - a circular solution for used batteries 

Via a collaboration with Stena Recycling, Volvo Group has significantly extended the “life” of the batteries used on its buses and contributed to a more sustainable long-term strategy for them. When a bus battery needs to be replaced, it is by no means useless: it still has significant capacity and can be repurposed for static energy storage. In Gothenburg, ex-bus batteries are already being used to store solar power for residential developments like BRF Viva, one of the country’s most innovative and sustainable housing projects.


Volvo Group, a manufacturer and supplier of electric buses, electric trucks and electric construction equipment, is a proud supporter of the 2021 POLIS conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. To speed up the shift to electromobility, and create a better and more sustainable living environment, the Volvo Group sees the need for broad collaboration – involving policy makers, as well as public and private actors. As a sponsor of 2021 POLIS, Volvo Group wants to support and encourage important dialogue on innovation, sustainability and co-creation.