In the US the liberals are celebrating Joe Biden’s election victory – This could benefit the mobility industry on both sides of the Atlantic. In Spain a manufacturer of motocross bikes is now also building mountain bikes. And buses will soon be driving autonomously on the roads in Brainport, Netherlands.
Amazingly, it happened in Detroit. In the recent US presidential election, the heart of the US auto industry voted for Democrat Joe Biden. In Wayne County, where “Motown” lies, over 587,000 people (68.1 per cent) voted for the challenger. This was a runaway victory ensuring that the state of Michigan, which voted Republican in the previous election, now turned Democrat – and will probably catapult the “car guy” into the White House.
Experts are forecasting that Biden’s victory could stabilize the economic transatlantic relations between Europe and the US – regarding both policies and business. It now seems possible to “build bridges” again, as VDA President Hildegard Müller writes. Yet what is the mood like in the US, and more specifically in the field of e-mobility?
The mood appears euphoric. Whereas Trump questioned the existence of climate change and halted promotional programs for electric cars (for example), the media report that Biden is planning massive investments. For instance, an infrastructure spending program running into trillions of dollars is planned for the period up to 2030. This could include 500,000 charging stations for electric cars in the US and the return of schemes promoting e-mobility, which had been suspended. Stock market analysts are already recommending greater investment not only in alternative energy projects but also in mobility companies.
Vroooom! Until now the Spanish motorcycle manufacturer GASGAS was known for the thundering roar of its engines and the smell of adrenalin. Bikers around the world loved the growl of their trial and enduro machines. Now the firm is turning its attention to quieter alternatives – zero-emission e-bikes. The company also wants to offer a total of twelve sustainably produced models as of spring 2021. Mountain bikers are already enthusiastic about the motor of the most powerful specimen, the GASGAS Enduro Cross 11.0. The “bike” attracts attention with its 630 Wh rechargeable battery and Yamaha PW-X2 motor.
“The conversations … were not impressive,” groaned Tesla boss Elon Musk last spring, with a reference to Bill Gates. Gates had committed the sacrilege of publicly revealing how delighted he was with his electric Porsche Taycan. But Gates is not put off by the criticism – instead he is writing essays on the mobility of the future (worth reading).
Over 1,000 e-vehicles will soon be humming their way around the Greek island of Astypalaia. In the future almost all traffic on the island will be electrical. Autos with conventional powertrains will have to leave. In return, various kinds of mobility will be offered to the local population – a swarm of e-scooters, e-bikes and carsharing options. The state’s fleet will likewise be replaced. The project, a joint venture between Volkswagen and the Greek state, is developing the necessary infrastructure including charging pillars for the island. The electricity required is to come from renewable sources. A total of 284 sunny days per year and the strong winds over the sea will soon be harnessed to power mobility. VW Chairman Herbert Diess describes the objective of the zero-emission “Truman Show” for e-mobility.
One of Europe’s most successful technology parks is tucked away in the Dutch hinterland. Over 5,000 hi-tech and IT firms have established themselves in Eindhoven’s “Brainport” – including the mobility company Lightyear, which is developing a solar-powered electric car.
In the future, local public transport in Eindhoven will be just as innovative as the companies located there. Self-driving, electrically powered buses will very shortly be connecting the campuses in Brainport on a one-billion-euro line. Vehicles of various sizes, called pods, will apply the most advanced sensor technology to navigate on normal roads, so the system doesn’t need rails. The pods should become a feature on the streets of Eindhoven by 2030 and serve worldwide as a model for inner-city mobility. The Dutch Government is supporting the project to the tune of one billion euros.
Did you know there are roughly 5,300 per cent more charging pillars in Europe than there were ten years ago? Back in 2010, Europe had only 3,201 charging points, but by 2019 the figure had increased to 170,149, according to the “Statista” statistics portal. That’s not enough, say many drivers of electric cars in Germany. At present, every week more than 12,000 new electric cars and plug-in hybrids are registered in Germany, but only 200 additional charging points are installed. As a result, there is one public charging pillar for about every 13 e-cars. If expansion of the charging network isn’t considerably speeded up, by Easter 2021 there will be 20 e-vehicles to every pillar.
The IAA 2021 will focus on innovative mobility in all its forms. Intelligent traffic solutions, visionary ideas, automobiles and the entire mobility chain. Everything that will shape the mobility of tomorrow and turn it into an experience. Come to the show!