News - Eco Urban Living

In 2011, Finland’s national innovation support agency Tekes formed the EVE – Electric Vehicle Systems program, an electric vehicle development initiative aimed at piloting, testing, and demonstrating the vehicles and related infrastructure with the goal of improving technology and increasing public awareness. Over the course the program’s five-year duration, the contributing consortia made a considerable impact on the development of the electric vehicle industry. The recently published program report finds that the EVE program resulted in the foundation of some ten start-up firms and contributed to the growth of existing companies on international markets.

The Eco Urban Living initiative was one of the five independent consortia that made up the program, orchestrated by Synocus Group, bringing together automotive manufacturer Valmet Automotive, VTT the Technical Research Center of Finland, the City of Espoo, and educational institutions Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics, and Lappeenranta University of Technology. The EUL initiative focused on the development of passenger vehicles and services in an urban context, exploring elements ranging from battery technology and charging infrastructure to consumer behavior.

As the leading corporate member of the EUL consortium, Valmet Automotive, a leading service provider for the global automotive industry with a wide range of services that cover engineering, manufacturing, roof systems, and consulting—used the opportunity provided by the EUL initiative to develop its expertise in electric vehicle engineering. During the initiative, Valmet Automotive tested a new Framecar platform which would speed up product development through a combination of laboratory testing and practical experience. This platform has since come to be an essential aspect of the company’s product development process, used in battery system development, the integration of control systems, and the development of mechanical solutions. Enabling Valmet Automotive to verify the viability of new technologies at an early stage, the platform has allowed the company to apply for a number of patents in electric drive train and battery technology.

Alongside the development of market-leading approaches and technologies for the private sector, the EUL initiative also contributed to noteworthy academic research. The EV-Acte research project (Acting Effectively in Emerging Ecosystems), carried out by Robin Gustafsson and Timo Vuori of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Aalto University, strived to advance understanding of the birth of new business ecosystems and the role which firms play in spurring them. The researchers continued their work following their participation in the EUL initiative, ultimately forming significant insights into how firms use soft-strategic methods to influence the development of corporate partnerships and ecosystems.

The EUL initiative also served as a platform for the early development of the World Alliance for Low Carbon Cities, a non-profit alliance of cities, academic institutions, and corporations united in the pursuit of a low-carbon future. The WALCC continued to evolve in the years following its inception in the EUL initiative, 2016 will see the Alliance host its 10th and 11th low-carbon development world forums in Chongqing, China and Turku, Finland this May and October, respectively.

Synocus continued to build on the experience gained in the EUL initiative through the Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation project which explored the role of social innovations in promoting a low-carbon urban environment together with Aalto University and the University of Tampere. Synocus has also continued to advance urban mobility solutions through its participation in Finnish efforts to form Mobility-as-a-Service solutions, actively seeking opportunities in a number of nationally funded research and development projects together with a range of industry leading partners.

For more on Valmet Automotive’s electric vehicle expertise see their website.

To read up on Synocus’s further efforts in urban sustainability and low-carbon vehicles, see the WALCC’s website.

Download the project report at Tekes’s website.

Noting a recent rise in consumer interest in electric vehicles, as evidenced by growing sales worldwide sales volumes which reached more than 120,000 in 2012, Pike Research forecasts that these figures will continue to rise in coming years. Forecasts, based on such factors as vehicle availability, economic growth, petroleum fuel prices, government influence on the market, and the overall vehicle market, predict not only a steady growth curve, but a robust expansion of worldwide sales of electric vehicles and hybrids, reaching annual sales of 3.8 million by 2020. The full results and additional analysis are available in the Pike Research “Electric Vehicle Market Forecast” report available for purchase at their website.

Read More: Pike Research "Electric Vehicle Market Forecast" report

Viime viikon keskiviikkona, 18.4.2012, Eco Urban Living -hankkeen merkeissä järjestettiin avoin informaatiotilaisuus T3-alueen ytimessä. Kino Tapiolaan kerääntyi alueen tulevaisuudesta kiinnostuneita asukkaita kuulemaan hankkeen etenemisestä sekä sen näkemyksestä sähköautojen merkityksestä alueen tulevaisuudelle.

Tilaisuudessa oli mukana esityksiä useilta hankkeeseen osallistuvilta osapuolilta kuten Valmet Automotivelta, A2B:ltä, Hankenilta ja Aalto-yliopistolta. Näiden firmojen ja tutkimuslaitosten lisäksi Eco Urban Living -hanketta tukevat myös julkisen sektorin toimijat, jotka takaavat hankkeen tutkimustuloksille paikan suomalaisten arkielämässä. Julkisen sektorin toimijoita tilaisuudessa edustivat Espoon kaupunki ja Tekesin EVE-ohjelman koordinaattori Markku Antikainen.

Näiden esitysten lisäksi, tilaisuudessa esitettiin myös Eco Urban Living – hankkeen järjestämän sähköautokilpailun voittaja! Voitte lukea lisää voittajasta täältä!

Jos et itse pääsyt Kino Tapiolaan kuuntelemaan esityksiä viime viikolla, niin voit tutustua hankkeen etenemiseen ja sen tulevaisuuden suunnitelmiin esittelymateriaalin kautta!



Eco Urban Living hanke

Espoon Kaupunki

Tutkimuspolku 4 (Hanken)

Tutkimuspolku 5 (Aalto)

Tutkimuspolku 6 (Aalto)

Tutkimuspolut 1-3 (Valmet)

Sähköautojen nykytilanne (Valmet)

Tekesin EVE-ohjelma

Think City kilpailu

Think City kilpailun voittaja SELL Student Games

The Eco Urban Living initiative introduced residents of Espoo’s T3-area to the demonstration initiative’s ambitious research programs at an open even on Wednesday April 18th, 2012, held at the Kino Tapiola cinema in the heart of the T3 area. The event drew an audience of engaged citizens interested in learning more about the Eco Urban Living initiative’s plans for the future of electric vehicles and their integration in the daily lives of the T3-area’s residents.

Speakers at the event included representatives from several businesses, universities and research institutes participating in the initiative’s research activities and the real-world demonstration trials, such as Valmet Automotive, A2B, the Hanken School of Economics and Aalto University. In a reflection of the EUL initiative’s strong integration of the public and private sectors, the morning also included the participation of the City of Espoo as well as the coordinator of Tekes’s EVE-program, Markku Antikainen. These public sector representatives provided an introduction to the vital role which public sector support and participation plays in the Eco Urban Living initiative’s vision of Espoo’s future.

In addition to these presentations, the winner of our Think City test drive contest was also announced at Kino Tapiola! Read more about the winner here!

If you did not get a chance to make it out to Kino Tapiola last week, the presentation material from the event is available for download now so you can read up on the latest regarding the Eco Urban Living initiative’s progress and plans for the future! While some of the presentations are in Finnish those in English are indicated below.



Eco Urban Living initiative

The City of Espoo

Research stream 4 (Hanken) - in English

Research stream 5 (Aalto University) - in English

Research stream 6 (Aalto University)

Valmet Automotive - EV industry - in English

Valmet Automotive - research streams 1-3

EVE program (Tekes) - in English

Think City contest

Contest winner, SELL Student Games

The winner of Eco Urban Living’s Think City contest was announced at the Kino Tapiola movie theater yesterday, April 18th 2012. The free, one-week test drive was awarded to the organizers of the SELL Student Games! The entry submitted by the SELL Student Games was selected as the winner for its strong connection to the T3 area’s student community as well as its ability to maximize the test drive’s environmental impact by using the EV to make the countless trips between sites bound to take place over the span of the Student Games!You’ll be able to read all about the test drive and follow along as the car gets put through rigorous paces during the course of its week-long use right here at!

Follow us on Twitter (@EUL_Finland) and Like us on Facebook ( to get the latest updates on the test drive’s winner!

You can read all about the SELL Student Games at their website ( and make sure to Like them on Facebook ( to find out more about how they’ll be using the EV!