Brussels, 25-26 May 2016. Cars, buses, delivery trucks, bikes and ferries: All could be fully electric tomorrow. The conditions for a successful transition to electrification as an alternative to fossil-fuel powered vehicles were the main focus of the 4th edition of the European Electromobility Stakeholder Forum. With its cross-sectoral nature, the Forum is a unique European arena to share best practices and generate synergies across different electric transport modes.
Three European Commission flagship projects on electromobility, FREVUE, I-CVUE and ZeEUS organised this key annual event in Brussels this week, which brought together over 200 representatives from government, industry, academia, and other stakeholders.
Although the three projects demonstrate the viability of e-mobility and the way it makes our cities more sustainable, cleaner and quieter, fundamental challenges remain and many of these are shared among the different electromobility modes. In her opening words, Magda Kopczynska, Director for Innovative and Sustainable Mobility at the European Commission stressed “[…] the need to look at transport in a systemic way: We cannot address any of the challenges we face with one solution or one concept only. The great transport disruption will not be autonomous vehicles, but rather autonomous, electric and shared vehicles”.
Following this introduction, over 50 speakers shared their experiences, results achieved so far and remaining challenges. Key hurdles include the standardisation of charging infrastructure as well as current regulatory frameworks that can significantly slow down the electrification of transport modes. On the other hand, exciting opportunities and synergies between the modes were discussed, such as urban design and multimodal and interoperable charging infrastructure.
“Electrification of transport is a key enabler for imagining new concepts – like building an indoor bus stop where passengers’ shopping would be delivered by electric freight to enhance passenger’s experience. This approach confirms that the prominent need for the Forum to exist and to offer great cross-sectoral exchanges”, highlighted Ulf Gustafsson from Volvo.
In the background of the plenary sessions and workshops, over 20 works covering multiple aspects of e-mobility were presented at a poster exhibition, featuring projects such as ELIPTIC and initiatives such as the Market Place of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EV4SCC) contributing to the further development of electromobility.