Meep helps Transit Authorities and Transit & Micro-mobility companies to increase passengers with their MaaS platform.
They provide digital solutions for Transit Authorities, Transit Operators, and Mobility Service Providers to create an interconnected mobility ecosystem.
In one app, Meep combine traditional public transport services with new micro-mobility ones of a city to put the citizen in the center of public transport, radically improving their digital experience.
Meep increases the number of citizens that leave their private vehicles and join the public transport systems.
MOVE caught up with Armando Heras Ruiz, COO & Founder at Meep. In this interview Armando talks about the benefits of Meep’s digital solutions and how the use of data has benefited cities across the world.
Each of the outboard motors used by millions of professional fishing and water taxi boats emits every year as many GreenHouse Gases (GHG) as 20 cars. This is a whopping 0.5 Gigatonnes of CO2e per year from a virtually completely neglected sector.
Gempacs aims to revolutionize Marine Electric Mobility, starting from professional boat users in emerging markets. The company’s mission is to contribute significantly to the global efforts against Climate Change.
MOVE spoke to Corrado Accardi, CEO and Co Founder of Gempacs. Within this interview, Corrado touches on how the future looks for electric marine mobility and what we can expect from Gempacs in the coming months.
Q: For those who don’t know, tell us about Gempacs and what you do.
At Gempacs we are all about marine electric mobility.
We are a technology integrator, with a very strong team at the helm (and the pun is entirely deliberate!), capable of managing highly complex systems, building the charging infrastructure in ports, converting boats to 100% electric (or we can make them new as well), saving 15tons CO2e per year per boat. We target professionally-used boats (such as fishing, water taxi and tourist boats)below 5 Gross Tonnes or up to 12m in length. We install batteries and photovoltaic roofs,create an AI-enabled charging infrastructure in the ports and connect everything through an IoT management and mesh network-based geo-localisation software, which increases safety at sea.
We decided to start from Indonesia because of the size of the serviceable market, larger than the totality of the European markets combined in the segment we target. Moreover, there we can maximise our potential impact at environmental, individual, societal and national level, hitting 7 of the UN’s SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
Q: Do you feel, in the journey towards electrification of transport, that often the discussion around electric vessels is limited? If so, why?
More than limited, I’d say almost negligible. Pretty much all efforts in electric mobility focus on land-based vehicles. The discussion about the maritime implementation is limited to shipping. With tens of millions of smaller boats, the environmental impact and poverty cycles are evident. And yet the sector is not recognised as such because it is poor. And so the only attempts to electrify boats are limited to leisure boats in wealthy markets such as North America and Europe, which although a positive move, will still have very limited impact.
Instead, each boat used intensively emits as many GHGs as 20 cars every year: there is a relatively low hanging and low cost opportunity to have large impact. However, investors are still resisting the evidence and are following each other in looking for the next breakthrough technology, whereas the existing technology is already more than sufficiently efficient and affordable for immediateimplementation, especially in emerging markets.
Q: A huge amount of CO2 emissions come from vessels all over the world. What needs to happen for electric marine mobility to be adopted world-wide?
A concerted wake up call to investors to understand that there is an under- or, rather, un-developed sector and blue ocean market opportunity. Even if impact were a secondary or greenwashing consideration for some of those investors, there is money that can be made for their backers… and, most importantly for us, positive impact achieved on the side.
The current battery technology can be used straight away for the smaller boats, whereas shipping needs heavier duty approaches, such as hydrogen, which is making huge progress and is already being used successfully. But the port infrastructure, especially in developing countries, is challenging to say the least and investment will be required.
Q: GemPacs has been undergoing trials with prototype boats around Indonesia. How is this going and what are you hoping are the next steps?
To date we have made 5 boat prototypes in Indonesia. Two were water taxis and three small tourist boats (including at a Unesco reserve). Two of these used new motors, the others used ICE outboards converted to 100% electric.
I am just back from Indonesia, where we signed preliminary agreements with boat owners’ associations and co-operatives in Indonesia, the largest one covering 6,000 boats (in just one port). Most of these are suitable for conversion to 100% electric propulsion.
The next step is to raise a seed round and start a pilot project at a port, which we already identified, with the potential to convert thousands of boats and save well over 100ktons of CO2e per year for years to come.
Q: What can we expect to see from GemPacs in the next 12-18 months?
We expect to be able to announce quite soon the completion of our Seed round. The following step will be to start the pilot project and open create the first workshop locally. This stage will probably last up to 6 months, at the end of whichwe will start selling. Once we reach that stage, it is likely that we will aim to raise a Series A to help us grow quicker and expand into many more ports around Indonesia… and beyond.
X Shore is a Swedish manufacturer of high-end electric craft. Their mission is to revolutionise the maritime industry with the power of silence. The company has a sole vision of redefining mobility.
With new technology and innovative research, smart design and sustainable materials, X Shore embraces the long tradition of maritime craftsmanship while discarding the dirty institution of fossil fuels.
MOVE spoke to Jenny Keisu, CEO at X Shore. Within this interview Jenny talks about how far electric boating has come and how X Shore are pioneering this transition to electric.
Last month, INVERS announced that it would be further expanding its proven solution for shared mobility by using carValoo’s AI-based damage detection: the new solution offers digitised and automated damage detection based on data from highly sensitive motion sensors within the car.
The data is analysed and processed by artificial intelligence to detect damages precisely and reliably. The solution immediately contributes to business success as it allows operators to reduce costs by improving damage management, increasing successful damage claims and completely digitising the rental process.
MOVE caught up with Bharath Devanathan, Chief Business Officer at INVERS and Dr. Tom Althoff, Managing Director & Co Founder of carValoo to talk all about the new partnership and how new AI technology will impact the mobility industry.
Find out more below!
Q: For those who don’t know, tell us about Invers and carValoo and what you do.
Bharath Devanathan: INVERS is a pioneer in car sharing and is often referred to as the inventor of car sharing technology. Our team develops solutions for automated vehicle sharing. We enable operators of mobility services like car sharing, subscription or rental to launch, operate and scale their services with integrated hardware and software solutions. With our focus in car sharing, we are today in a market leading position: nine out of ten leading carsharing providers in Germany and six out of ten leading car sharing providers in Europe run on Invers technology. Our customers include big, market-leading car sharing providers like ShareNow, MILES, Flinkster, and Getaround, for example
Invers started in 1993 when our founder, Uwe Latsch, built the first onboard unit to make a car shareable. Since then, we’ve been part of more than 350 shared mobility projects across more than 50 countries globally. Each project adds to our vision to make vehicle sharing more convenient and affordable than ownership. We have locations in Siegen, Cologne and Vancouver. The development takes place entirely in Germany.
Dr. Tom Althoff: carValoo is an automotive tech company specializing in machine learning and AI-based products. Since 2018 we have established our unique high-precision damage detection with customers in car sharing, car rental, and logistics. This solution reliably detects even minor damages in real-time based on telematics data.
Automotive Tech is deeply rooted in our DNA: We started as an innovation project of German automotive giant thyssenkrupp and are now an independent, fast growing company. With our mission to bring trust, fairness and safety to shared mobility, we are creating the basis for scaling sustainable and attractive mobility offerings. Over the past 24 months, we have increasingly established ourselves in the industry: Vehicles equipped with carValoo technology are now on the road every day in 10+ countries.
Q: Back in December 2022, the mobility experts at Invers identified shared mobility trends that we would see in 2023. What trends are we seeing in the shared mobility space today?
Bharath: We are seeing a very dynamic mobility market: the top-level issues that drive the industry are certainly climatechange targets, the transformation of transport, and the goal of car-free inner cities, which all require innovative mobility solutions. However, we’re also currently seeing those more specific trends we predicted late last year.
First, we expect the market for car sharing to grow by at least 20 percent. German Car-Sharing Association Bundesverband Carsharing just recently published new stats: at the beginning of this year, there were approximately 4,5 million car sharing customers, an increase of 32 percent over the previous year. This clearly demonstrates consistent growth in the market.
At the same time, we see more mobility offers with longer rental periods and more electric vehicles in shared mobility fleets, while providers continue to focus on profitability. We’re also noticing that more cities and project developers are recognizing the potential of car sharing. Recent examples of the last trend include the cooperation between the City of Las Vegas and connected car sharing marketplace Getaround; the City of Hamburg cooperating very closely with public transport and car sharing operators; and ShareOurCars partnering with car sharing expert Hiyacar to create the UK’s first neighbourhood closed loop trusted group in East Oxford.
Additionally, looking at the market from a B2B perspective, we see some dynamics in business models. The boundaries are blurring with traditional rental companies like Wheego starting car sharing and subscription services, and traditional car sharing player MILESoffering vehicles through the Billiger-Mietwagen rental platform . We are convinced thatthere’s more blurring and overlapping between sharing and rental to come.
Q: INVERS now partners with carValoo to offer a new AI-based damage detection solution for sharing operators. Tell us about how this came about and what impacts you expct this new solution to have.
Bharath: As pioneers in car sharing technology, we’re always looking at ways to improve the car sharing experience, both for end users and for operators. Damaged vehicles Vehicle damage is an important issue in the industry, so it goes without saying that we looked into itfrom the perspective of both users and operators.
For end users, it is important to get a reliable and safe vehicle. Users feel unsafe in damaged vehicles, causing them to be uncomfortable and lose trust in the service. There are also caseswhen customers get blamed and charged for damages that were undetected earlier. At the same time, undetected damages are a huge cost driver for operators that eventually can become an impediment on their path to profitability. Damage detection is very much a manual process today, prone to errors and consuming a lot of resources. Experiences of rental companies show that in 90 percent of vehicle returns a manual inspection is not needed.
To address this challenge, we identified carValoo as a perfect partner to bring AI-based damage detection capabilities into our sharing solutions. By combining our respective expertise in automated car sharing and AI-based damage detection, we enable our customers to reduce the costs of undetected and unattributed damages and to improve safety in carsharing. In the long run, this supports operators to become profitable and improve and expand their services even further, so it will ultimately result in more shared cars, making car sharing more convenient and attractive than car ownership.
Tom: Our partnership with Invers and their unique worldwide shared mobility network is the next big step on our journey. The real-time detection of damages finally enables car sharing companies to reliably assign damages to the causer and successfully lodge claims. This does not only reduce the pain of excess repair cost, but often results in an additional three figure monthly revenue per vehicle, paving the way to profitability for many operators.
Besides the direct financial benefits, the impact of damage detection on follow up processes will be tremendous. By making carValoo damage detection available via Invers, car sharing companies will get easy access to this game changing technology.
Q: How important is the utilisation of AI within new mobility solutions?
Tom: Accurate and automated damage detection simply does not work without artificial intelligence and machine learning. We capture precise, multi-dimensional acceleration data. The difficulty is that driving a car generates an incredible number of motion patterns: Starting with closing the doors, driving through curves, over speed bumps, and through potholes, and ending with actual damage-causing events such as collisions, bumps, or scraping the curb. For humans, it is virtually impossible to distinguish between unproblematic and relevant events in the vast amount of data generated.
Our AI evaluates this acceleration data and recognizes distinct patterns in it, transforming abstract data into concrete and actual damage reports. The beauty of it is that our algorithms naturally learn over time. Thanks to the experience of millions of miles in our customers’ vehicles, our algorithms are now extremely accurate and reliable.
The application of AI of course goes beyond damage detection. AI will help to identify mobility needs, threats and provide tailored services exactly where they are required. Data will enable operators to allocate the right vehicles in the right locations at the right time, design usage based rates, identify accident hot spots and a lot more. There is no way around simplifying fleet management through automation and technology in order to make new mobility sustainable and scalable.
Q: What can we expect to see from INVERS and carValoo in the next 12-18 months?
Bharath: Our teams are working on several more innovations to support mobility operators in further improving customer experience as well as eventually moving to profitability. Obviously, the new solution for damage detection is key here, and we are looking forward to making it work for our customers.
We’re also continuing to work on the integration of OEM APIs. Many vehicle-as-a-service operators need to connect vehicles from different brands which sometimes come with various factory-fitted telematics units or after-market third-party systems. We are working closely with OEMs to align on the car sharing capabilities of their APIs to make sure that by using INVERS OEM Integrations, mobility operators can integrate vehicles from different manufacturers into their fleets quickly and easily, and without having to invest a great deal of development effort.
Last but not least, car sharing operators face a challenge to dynamically balance demand and vehicle supply. We aim to provide a single interface for real-time exchanges of vehiclesacross fleets of different operators. With INVERS FleetShare, operators can share vehicles with other mobility providers and generate revenue during their times of low demand. Conversely, they can also add vehicles to their fleet from other providers during times of high demand. With a couple of clicks, FleetShare allows operators to dynamically modify theirfleets without the effort that usually comes with asset acquisition. They can increase revenue, improve user experience, and by optimizing utilization instead of growing fleets reduce the environmental burden on the city.
Tom: In addition to the continued development of our services and technologies, we intend to expand our global footprint in the coming months. We are already working on our first projects outside Europe, particularly in North America and Asia.
In the short to medium term, we want to further establish our AI-based damage detection as the standard in shared mobility. To achieve this, we will also intensify our cooperation with OEMs and insurance companies in the future.
As cities begin to establish net zero goals, the focus now shifts onto electrification. Many automakers will offer only electric models by 2025 and states such as California and New York are planning to phase out newly manufactured, gas-powered vehicles by as early as 2035.
Despite this all-electric future, EV charging is not easy for drivers who park on the street. Charging infrastructure accessibility is one of the key factors that prevent buyers from making the switch to EV as many fear that their car will run our of charge before they reach a charge point.
itselectric has set on a mission is to bring curbside EV charging to cities across the U.S. and advance the adoption of electric vehicles.
Increased access to affordable public charging not only encourages the adoption of EVs, but leads to cleaner air and healthier communities.
MOVE spoke to Tiya Gordon, COO and co-founder at itselectric! In this interview Tiya touches on how EV charging infrastructure is affecting the transition to electric vehicles and how itselectric’s solution aims to tackle these issues.
Q: For those who may not know, tell us about itselectric and what you do.
itselectric is accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles by providing communities with scalable and simple charging solutions that seamlessly integrate into the existing design of urban streets. Millions of drivers park their cars on the street and cannot transition to electric vehicles without convenient and affordable curbside charging infrastructure. itselectric charging posts provide an easy and inexpensive solution for neighborhoods to rapidly scale EV charging infrastructure where residents are already parked.
Q: One of the issues facing cities is its lack of infrastructure for EVs. How does itselectric’s solution help tackle this problem?
There are over 40 million drivers in cities, and simply not enough EV charging options. Most apartment dwellers don’t have access to garages, and purchasing a parking space costs hundreds of dollars. We decided to meet drivers where they already are – curbside. Our scalable and simple charging solutions seamlessly integrate into the existing design of urban streets, and can be installed in two days at 5% of the average cost.
When installing the charger, it’s linked up to the closest property, and by utilizing a submeter, we pay the utility company directly – ensuring the property owner’s bill never bubbles from the charger’s energy draw. Charging accessibility is a huge issue, especially in urban areas. With our revenue sharing, the property owner receives monthly passive income. In NYC for example, we already have 300 property owners signed up.
Q: Once infrastructure becomes more accessible to drivers, do you think more people will be willing to make the transition to EVs? Or are there bigger overarching factors?
Think of it like a chicken and the egg scenario – except that it’s all egg! The more charging options we provide, the more drivers will be comfortable making their next vehicle electric. With this in mind plus the increasing affordability of EVs for the average consumer, we anticipate EV adoption will only continue to accelerate exponentially over the next decade. However, this is only if the infrastructure is there, which is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which set a goal of 500,000 public chargers installed by 2030.
Q: itselectric has just raised $2.2M in its Pre-Seed Funding Round. What impact will this have for the company? How will this help implement its vision?
This funding allows us to stand up pilots in cities across the country alongside some major partners across the U.S. We know we’ve built a solution that will allow for equitable access to charging, and we’re excited to see it in action.
Q: What’s in store for itselectric in the next 12-18 months?
We will be announcing some exciting pilots and partnerships over the next few months that will propel us to be the name associated with curbside charging here in the U.S.
Deftpower is an AI supported SaaS-platform for EV Charging. Many businesses look to provide a compelling customer experience for the EV Driver but are having a hard time doing so. Deftpower makes this simple for many businesses.
Deftpower is now the ultimate tool for car manufacturers, electricity companies and other businesses to build a strong customer relationship. And it won’t cost them a dime to invest.
This week, Fisker has announced Deftpower as their European public charging platform provider. This partnership will provide Fisker Ocean owners access to one of Europe’s largest aggregated electric vehicle public charging networks.
MOVE caught up with Jacob van Zonneveld, Co-founder and Managing Director at Deftpower! In this short interview Jacob touches on the exciting new partnership with Tom Tom, how integrated AI has helped develop EV charging platforms, and what we can expect to hear from them at MOVE 2023 this June.
MOVE was joined by John McLaughlin, Chief Commercial Officer & Partner, Human Capital Solutions, EMEA & UK at Aon and Suzanne Galbraith, Multinational Client Director, Health Solutions, EMEA & UK at Aon to talk about what the talent market looks like today for the mobility industry.
Within this interview, both Suzanne and John explain how new business models require new types of talent, how we are able to attract and retain talent in a difficult market, and how building data-intelligence in your people strategy can help target what drives ROI and optimise spend.
We are very happy to welcome Aon as a Diamond sponsor of MOVE 2023! Hear more below for what you can expect to hear from them in June and some great business insights!
Christine Giampaoli Zonca is a professional rally and off-road driver, including Extreme E, who holds a bachelor degree in Motorsport Engineering Technology.
MOVE caught up with Christine to talk about what first sparked her love for race cars and how the racing world is now making the transition to become more sustainable through the use of electric vehicles.
Christine will be joining us at MOVE 2023 to share her knowledge on Extreme E, specifically electric cars and how they race.
Read more below!
Q: For those who don’t know, just tell us a little bit about yourself and who you are and what you do.
That’s a long story. I hope you guys have like five hours! I was born in India, but I’m Italian and my parents have like absolutely nothing to do with racing. They don’t even know what a good car looks like. So, it’s, it’s been super weird since the beginning. They say that when I was really young, I always used to have little cars and people would come to my house and see the posters on my wall and say to my parents “oh, you have a son?” And my mom was like,” yes…”.
There was always this joke and for as long as I can remember, I have always just liked cars! And then one day I saw this rally car in the Canary Islands, which is where I grew up, and I just fell in love. I was like, I don’t know what this is, but this is what I want to do!
I stopped the guy in the middle of the road, and he almost ran me over! I got in the car, I could smell the gasoline, hear the noise and I thought, what is this? The man said to me, well, this is a rally car. And I knew there and then that this is what I want to do. So, from there it started. I knew that it was an expensive sport from what everyone was saying, and they were telling me it’s going to be impossible for you to just become a race car driver.
I realised then that if I built my own car, everything was going to be cheaper. I became a mechanic, and I spent my first two years prepping my own car. I bought a chassis in the scrapyard, and I basically started from there. I learned how to weld and little by little, after two years, I prepped my first race car.
I went to England, and I started Montes Sport Engineering to kind of just help me out. And then from there I won the Canarian Championship overall, I was the first ever woman that won the championship.
After that, I contracted with a team of Barcelona and then I ended up in Los Angeles and Mexico racing all this crazy off-road stuff.
Q: You said you grew up in the Canary Islands. What was the reputation of the sport where you lived?
Well, everyone in the Canary Island, where I lived in Fuerteventura, was really into surfing and kit surfing and that’s pretty much it.
I was like a little bit of a hippie surfer at that time, and I just liked cars. And then when, when I realized I really wanted to become a race car driver, then it’s when I kind of started and, and I realized that there was a lot of passion for motorsport. Because there’s a lot of gravel.
We’re in Fuerteventura, so all the roads are gravel. Everything’s gravel. So, people are already drifting around corners and stuff. Then I realized there was a championship and I knew I wanted to race the whole championship. I started doing local races and then slowly kind of stepped up to the whole championship until we won it.
Q: You were recently at Web summit talking about your transition from ICE race cars to electric race cars. What made you make the transition? Is there a considerable difference between the two?
I feel that like right now, like every championship is adapting, it’s like an iPhone update, and they’re all going into electrification.
There’s a clear movement going on and everything is focused around EVs right now. The biggest difference, race-wise, is that there is a lot more drivability. You put your foot on the gas and then everything is smooth. While in a combustion engine car, it doesn’t work like this. I always say that whatever happens in the tires is proportional to what you do in your foot, you know.
At the beginning when this movement started, I was a little bit apprehensive. I loved the smell of gasoline and the sound of the car but then when you realize how incredible it’s to drive and how different it is but at the same time similar, then you just fall in love with it.
With an electric engine, everything is super easy and not dangerous. Everything is software. I feel that there’s a lot of pros and cons obviously, but I think that as that’s where the world is going it’s also important that we follow and step up.
Q: What’s so unique about Extreme E driving?
Extreme E like for me, it’s a completely different championship. Obviously when I saw it at the beginning, I was super interested because of the amazing legends that are racing there.
When you start realizing more about Extreme E being so much more and caring about electrification, gender equality and sustainability all at the same time, you wonder what’s this all about? They tell you that we’re racing in extreme locations of the world and at the same time we’re promoting sustainability and we are taking actions for climate change. It’s not just about the cool racing, we’re racing in crazy locations and then leaving the place better than how we found it. I feel this is a huge accomplishment.
We also have which are led by scientists at the University of Oxford and Cambridge. We sometimes go to Senegal and other places to teach the children how to be more sustainable. We also teach them about business and investments for the school. It’s not just racing and it’s not just a championship.
Q: What will we be hearing from you at MOVE 2023?
The panel that I will be part of is how performance vehicles are driving road car innovation. I mean, I love just talking about race cars. It will be nice to talk to people about how electric cars work, and how they can race as so many people don’t know about this sport and it will be great to share my knowledge with people.
Q: What have you got planned in the next 12 to 18 months? What can we expect to see from you?
So, everyone that knows Christine knows that my life is day by day. That’s a very hard question! I guess it will be to work hard, race as much as possible and, and try to tick the objectives for the year.
EV Driver provides electric vehicle charge point solutions for home, workplace, and commercial charging.
Linda Grave is the CEO at EV Driver and is an entrepreneur with fifteen years of experience in EV-related business. Having built a respected and reliable network of public EV charging points, which was recently merged with another CPO network, she is a pioneer in EV roaming and interoperability in the UK and Europe. This has brought together networks to make charging easy for all.
Linda spoke to MOVE about what drove her towards the emobility sector and how her EV driver network has grown to impact the mobility industry today.
Q: For those who don’t know tell us a bit about EV Driver and what you do.
I’m Linda Grave the founder of EV Driver consultancy, I bring together independent consultants together under one umbrella to provide fully independent advice to businesses wishing to implement EV charging infrastructure and operational systems , working with councils and private business to ensure we have Future proofed , Fit for purpose and Reliable EV charging.
Q: What led you into working in the emobility sector?
My previous business was in the renewable energy sector ,carrying out the design, supply and installation of solar PV amongst other technologies, back as early as 2010 I had forward thinking customers asking me about EV’s ,once I started researching , I was hooked and put my £1000 down on that illusive Tesla Model 3, 3 years and 2 Nissan Leaf’s later I finally took delivery of it.
Q: What drove your passion for sustainability?
I was born with it, growing up in the countryside , in a tumbled down house that needed years of renovation , my mother ran an antique shop ( this was thrust upon her as my father died when I was 10) , so taking old things, repairing them and selling them on was in blood. We new the value of a kW very early on, if you have to chop the wood, stack it and bring in the house to burn you soon learn the value of a kW.
Then in 2000, I was looking for solar thermal for my house (we needed a new hot water cylinder and I had read about solar thermal), the friend of a friend who installed mine was looking for help with the new business venture and I was looking for a new venture.
By 2006 we had incorporated East Green Energy and it grew from there , we gave up our other jobs to fully focus on renewables and we were turning over £2mill shortly after that. I very much liked the electric side of the business ( it doesn’t leak!) so we got MSC certified and rode the FiT roller coaster for the next 10 years. It’s great to see solar standing on its own without the need for subsidies..
Q: You started off in 2016 building the EV Driver network of public charge points in the East of England. Tell us a bit about this and what has been the impact of this work?
It all started because of wanting to drive an EV, I knew the East was going to be poorly served for some time as the government rightly needed to focus on inner cities , we were not likely to see much infrastructure in rural areas for a while, so I thought I had better build a public network of charge points in the East, so I can get out to see my customers. Having put together all the pieces of the puzzle that go into making a EV charging network
Q: One of the biggest challenges facing EV adoption is lack of infrastructure. How does EV Driver help governments and businesses build EV networks?
It’s fascinating working with the private and public sector, they have very different approaches and needs, it’s very important to understand the needs and make sure you have all the stake holders engaged in the process early on. By being completely independent and by staying in touch with the wider industry means we (EV Driver) can offer unbiased and future proofed advise to our clients. Importantly this is not a one size fits all industry we must make sure we have the right solution in the right place delivering what it says on the tin.
Q: What can we expect to see from EV Driver over the next few years?
More help and support for CPO’s, businesses and councils, there is a lot to be done lets make sure we get it right.
Q: What can we expect to hear from you at MOVE 2023?
It’s all about startup’s, I was born into a start up business and have started and exited a few of my own along the way , so I am so looking forward to seeing what’s new and trending at MOVE 2023.
Luna Systems leverages computer vision to solve the core safety challenges of micromobility.
Sidewalk riding, collisions and disorderly parking present challenges to the growth and scale of micromobility. Luna’s smart camera technology enables operators and cities to understand how riders engage with vehicles and the ability to proactively reduce errant behavior in real time.
The company’s vision data also provides actionable insights for a variety of smart city needs.
MOVE spoke to Luna System’s COO, Maria Diviney, about some of the features of the company’s Urban Mobility Safety Platform and how this has transformed the mobility industry.
Autotech Council is a membership-based community of auto makers, T1 vendors, and mobility investors who are committed to partnership as part of their corporate innovation strategy.
Since 2012, when the Autotech Council was formed by forward-thinking auto manufacturers and their major vendor partners to help discover innovation, this community has bridged the gap between innovators, which are often hard to find, and the traditional supply chain, which historically changed slowly. Since then membership has grown to include many different parts of the mobility ecosystem – from air transportation, drones and robotics to AI, materials, and energy companies and investors.
Elizabeth Kerton is the Executive Director at Autotech Council and in this conversation, Elizabeth spoke to MOVE about how Autotech Council was founded and what its impact has been over the years.
Q: For those who don’t know, tell us about Autotech Council and what you do.
Autotech Council is a membership-based community of auto makers, T1 vendors, and mobility investors who are committed to partnership as part of their corporate innovation strategy. Members meet monthly to discover, evaluate, and support startups in the mobility ecosystem.
Q: Why was Autotech Council formed?
Autotech Council has been meeting monthly since 2012 to bridge the gap between innovators, which are often hard to find, and the traditional supply chain, which historically changes slowly. Since then, membership has grown to include many different parts of the mobility ecosystem – from carmakers, semiconductors, materials, interiors to name a few to insurance, energy, lighting, sensor, mapping, AI companies and more.
Q: What has been the councils impact?
We have introduced over 100 startups each year to corporate partners who are serious about partnering with them. Sometimes this takes shape as tests and trials, sometimes as venture funding or co-development projects, but in all cases, our members are making an investment – whether and investment in time or money depends on the relationship. Although many partnerships that start through an Autotech Council introduction are confidential, we can share that 80% of startups who present to our members get follow up within 3 months. I think this reflects well on our team’s tech scouting work, but also on the commitment that Autotech Council members have towards working with startups.
Q: What trends are you seeing appear within start-ups and new businesses?
Tech changes in this industry tend to be slow, but startups have the ability to dodge and pivot much more quickly than their T1 counterparts in the supply chain. Every year, we ask our members where their innovation priorities are for the coming year so we can continue to introduce startup that fit. Over 10 years, we have seen the decline of investment in infotainment and multi-modal mobility and a rise in AI, the passenger economy and the circular economy – just to name a few.
Q: What can we expect to see from Autotech Council in the next 12-18 months?
To be honest, we also don’t change much. We have been introducing about 10 startups monthly since 2012, even through the pandemic. Our members from Detroit and Europe take advantage of remote access to our meetings – but we had remote access pre-covid as well. Our membership grows when an OE or T1 makes a commitment to finding and working with startups. Once their C-level has decided that startups are a welcome partner in their innovation strategy, it follows that they join the Autotech Council to be part of community of mobility tech scouts from every corner of the industry – all pulling on the same rope.
That said, we just launched the Cleantech Council, which does the same kind of work for corporates committed to partnering with startups to meet their clean, green, and sustainability goals, and many Autotech Council members are among the founding members of Cleantech Council, which is a great reflection on changes coming to the mobility industry.
Often the discussion around electric transportation is limited to road transportation such as cars, bikes, buses and trucks. Ships are often not part of the conversation. The shipping industry accounts for around 940 million tonnes of CO2 worldwide, which equates to 2.5% of the world’s total emissions. Almost 90% of everything we consume is moved by sea, making its footprint rather large.
Evoy is one of the leading companies taking the charge of reducing emissions at sea. Evoy develops longer-lasting, sustainable motor systems. The company’s vision is to deliver an irresistible boating experience by developing sustainable electric motor systems to accelerate the shift to emission free electric boating.
Already this year, Evoy has made some huge strides through partnerships with SAY Carbon Yachts and Nimbus. SAY Carbon Yachts have ordered 400hp Evoy inboard engines, representing the huge growth in the recreational boating market in the past 12 months.
Furthermore, a MOU was signed with Nimbus to evaluate a possible cooperation between the two companies within electric drivetrains. The partnership highlights that the market for electric boats is being seen by boat builders as becoming far more mainstream and less of an afterthought.
MOVE caught up with Evoy CEO, Leif.A.Stavøstrand to talk about some of the influential factors driving electric boating and about some of the exciting projects happening at Evoy.
Q: Tell us about Evoy
A: Based in Florø on west coast of Norway, Evoy is gaining a reputation as the marine industry’s foremost producer and supplier of electric ‘plug and play’ inboard and outboard motors for boats in the 20ft to 50ft size range.
The brainchild of Evoy’s CEO, Leif Stavøstrand, who often shared with his father his intrigue and fascination with emission-free boating and how the idea could, potentially, be brought to market and become reality.
Having climbed the ranks to become 3rd officer on chemical tankers as a young man based in Canada, Leif’s career saw him step ashore back home in Norway, ascending the corporate ladder of an oil supply base, eventually becoming CEO.
A comfortable life lay ahead, but there remained a nagging doubt in Leif’s mind about a career that relied on fossil-fuel technology so, together with his boat-builder father, Leif set about developing their ideas further.
In 2018, a demo boat, EVOY1 was born. The first ever boat with Evoy’s ‘Hurricane’ unit, a fully electrified inboard propulsion system, launched and ‘christened’ by Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, and capable of an unofficial world record of 55 knots speed.
That was the encouraging first start to Leif’s dream of starting his own marine electric engine manufacturing company, but a marathon was about to begin by way of chasing investors, partners, suppliers and building an internal team of experts to continue his dream.
Since those early days, Evoy has grown to become one of the marine industry’s most respected names in electric propulsion.
At the beginning of 2020, the company secured €7.3 million in capital from an ongoing series of investment rounds, with €3 million coming from the EU’s Innovation Council, and this significant injection of capital has since been put to very good use.
Having acquired the financial means to recruit and assemble his team of design engineers and marketeers to drive the business forward, success has been plentiful for Evoy, with the company now offering a full range of inboard and outboard ‘plug & play’ motors from 120hp to 400hp equivalent power.
Q: What are some of the most recent projects you have been working on?
A: Boat manufacturers keen to get a foothold in the electric boat market has meant that, throughout 2022, and into 2023, Evoy has witnessed a surge of interest in their engine and battery technology.
What started out as mainly enquiries from commercial marine customers, such as the fishing industries and research vessels and so forth, has led to an even stronger demand from leisure marine and superyachts.
Significant recent agreements to either purchase Evoy engines outright, or enter into agreements to develop the idea further, has come from the likes of major players in the production boat market, such as Axopar Boats from Finland and Nimbus Boats from Sweden, for example, both of whom are adding full electric alternatives to their existing internal combustion engine models.
Other lower volume producers from the leisure boat sector who have installed Evoy engines include, SAY Carbon Yachts, whose main customer market tends to be the European inland lake boat market, where local law dictates that only emission-free boats can be used in these protected water areas.
Other recent customers have included Goldfish RIBs, Hydrolyft, Tideman Boats, Iguana Yachts, and Viking Norsafe, who manufacture electric rescue boats for commercial shipping and cruise-line customers. Further talks are underway with another well-known cruising holiday company, who dedicate a large part of their marketing based upon offering customers an eco-friendly and sustainably themed cruising holiday.
Beyond the manufacture of engines, Evoy is quietly developing a raft of associated onboard e-technology that will improve and enhance electric boating in the future.
With improved user-interfaces biased more towards the use of visual images and pictures, Evoy’s e-cockpit solution, for example, will become the central hub for receiving and managing all aspects of the boat’s information.
Everything from battery charge status, to navigation, entertainment and safety, the e-cockpit will put the user first with a fully connected experience, linking useful information, such as nearby chargers, for example.
Available now, the Evoy App, offers a fully connected, 24/7 overview of your boat from the palm of your hand.
Q: A huge amount of CO2 emissions come from vessels all over the world. What needs to happen for electric motor systems and electric vessels to be adopted world-wide?
A: There are two main factors holding back the widespread acceptance of marine electric propulsion. One of those is price, and the other has been the limited range that electric can offer over petrol and diesel equivalents.
These factors, along with a restricted number of charging facilities in many boating areas, have created reluctance within some corners of the market.
The good news is that all of these issues are being addressed and we are witnessing steady improvements over time.
As far as range is concerned, the irony is that most private or leisure users normally don’t drive long distances anyway, and cruise happily with batteries as of today. With two batteries, the range can be extended up to 50-100 nautical miles at slow speeds of around 5 knots, and 15-30 nm at 20-30 knots. Extra batteries can be added for increased range. And some boatbuilders are coming up with ultra-light hulls and/or semi- or full-foiling hulls, for even longer ranges.
Batteries get more energy dense every year, with improvements, typically, 5-10% per year, and battery prices are decreasing gradually so that year by year, boat users will get more kWh and less weight and volume for the same cost.
The price of an electric motor including battery system is circa 2-3 times the cost of a fossil motor of the same power output. However, on average electricity is 6-7 times cheaper in terms of how much kw you get out. Depending upon how much you are using the boat, the ROI can be significant – with some customers only about a year. And with electric motor systems you have far less maintenance to worry about, saving you time, hassle, and money.
Regarding the charging infrastructure, companies such as Aqua Superpower and Plug are investing heavily in infrastructure, and we are seeing more and more charging sites opening all the time.
Q: If you had to choose one, what was the single most influential factor driving development of electric vessels?
A: The single most important factor for driving development of electric vessels in the early stage is support and incentives from global governments.
These are the same incentives that we have seen in the car industry over the last five to ten years and, likewise, we expect the electrification of the global fleet of medium and small vessels to grow rapidly in the next few years.
As the technology itself improves overall, especially when it comes to batteries, this self-perpetuating growth will, we hope, be supported by more and more vessels coming into operation over time.
Suzanna Hinson is the Head of Emerging Sectors at the Green Finance Institute. Suzanna has worked across the Institute’s portfolio of coalitions, and now leads the development of new workstreams, as well as leading on battery projects.
Suzanna’s background is in energy policy. Prior to joining the Institute, Suzanna was the Energy Specialist for the House of Commons Library (an in-house research service) advising Parliamentarians on legislation, debates, policy, and constituency issues. Suzanna has also worked with the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee on several inquiries, and the Climate Change Committee on the Sixth Carbon Budget.
Prior to her role in Parliament, Suzanna worked for think tanks and charities on various energy policy areas with a UK and European focus.
In this conversation, Suzanna touches on some of the amazing projects happening at the Green Finance Institute and about what we can expect to hear from her at MOVE 2023.
Arriva is one of the UK’s leading providers of bus transport that has one goal to provide good value tickets and safe, comfortable, reliable bus journeys for our customers.
The company provide around 18% of the capital’s bus services, operating about 100 routes under contract to Transport for London. Each year this adds up to transporting nearly 300 million passengers for more than 50 million miles!
Matt Greener, Director, Arriva Group’s Zero Emission Institute spoke to MOVE about Arriva’s exciting expansion into the new year and the company’s commitment to sustainable transport
Find out more below!
Q: For those who may not know, tell us about Arriva?
Arriva is a leading passenger transport company in Europe, serving 1.2 billion passengers a year across 12 countries. As an organisation, we are united in our purpose to connect people and communities safely, reliably and sustainably, enabling millions of people each day to go about their daily lives. We constantly strive to deliver our transport services in a better wayand we use our geographic scope to share the best innovation across markets so that we can learn from each other. This breadth of experience is attractive to our passenger transport authority clients who can access the expertise and experience we have gained across multiple Arriva businesses
We have the largest footprint across Europe of any of our major competitors:
• We operate in 12 countries
• We have 39,000 employees working for us
• We are proud to serve 1.2billion passengers each year
• We operate just over 14,100 buses and around 623 trains (incl trams)
Q: Arriva had an exciting end to 2022. The first Open Access night trains to start operations in the Netherlands, alongside new rail contracts in Poland. What’s next for the company’s expansion in the new year?
We put innovative thinking at the heart of Arriva and this was shown with the launch of Open Access night trains in the Netherlands in December 2022, which started operating just 18 months after submitting the original application. Open Access services operate without any government subsidy or involvement which means we are fully responsible for everything associated with starting a new route, including promoting, establishing a customer base and growing it. The services in the Netherlands fill a gap in the transport market and serve the early morning flight departures from Schiphol Airport with a public transport offering that hadn’t previously existed. We are using existing rolling stock to serve these night timeoperations, utilising assets that would otherwise be standing still outside of normal operating times. This is great news for passengers and great news for expanding the attractiveness of public transport. We already have experience of operating Open Access through our UK based train operating company, Grand Central, so building our expertise in another market is an exciting development for Arriva.
During 2023 we expect to continue growing our MaaS (mobility as a service) offering in the Netherlands under the ‘glimble by Arriva’ brand. This digital app brings together all transport offerings in the Netherlands under one virtual roof. This allows easy connectivity between different types of transport for passengers. They can plan, book and pay for travel and they have the ability to search for the best option for their needs according to a number of different criteria including step-free access, least carbon emissions, shortest journey times, cheapest routes etc. We recently doubled our followers to 200,000 so it’s clear that glimble is proving very successful. The technology was developed with pan-European potential so we will explore how it could expand into other markets where the data regulations allow.
We expect to continue growing the number of electric vehicles entering our fleets during 2023 as our transition to zero-emission vehicles continues. We will be working with our passenger transport authorities to create an environment where public transport can thrive and helping them to achieve their climate goals. Our Zero Emission Institute will also be gathering data throughout Europe on the performance of vehicles operating different fuel types – electric, hydrogen and HVO (hydrogenated vegetable oils). It’s important to understand performance, operational demands and life-cycle costs in different settings – rural or urban – and under different geographic conditions to select the best vehicle technology.
We will also be nurturing innovation from within Arriva through a new portal which has launched to our employees called The Ideas Engine. We know our colleagues have great ideas and these often come when we least expect them, so by creating a framework for everyone within the Arriva family to be able to share their great ideas, we can tap into the creativity that exists.
Q: What steps are Arriva taking to make public transport more sustainable?
We take our responsibility seriously and we are passionate about building a more sustainable future. This means two things:
1. We must encourage modal shift! Getting people out of cars and onto public transport is one of the biggest changes we can make as a society right now.
2. We must work together to ensure the public transport sector itself becomes greener, more sustainable and fit for a zero-emission future.
Across our Group and the countries in which we operate, we are already investing in zero-emission bus fleets, hybrid trains and alternative fuels. We are trialing new technologies that can help us reduce our emissions, and we are starting to future-proof our depots in preparation for growing number of zero-emission vehicles.
But, it’s important to note that Arriva cannot achieve decarbonisation alone. Full decarbonisation is complex and transitioning to zero-emission technologies takes time and requires true partnership with transport authorities, vehicle manufacturers, energy providers, research institutions, and many others. This is why we have the Zero Emission Institute at Arriva – to centralise our experience and expertise and to support cities and regions as they create cleaner mobility strategies and networks.
We are already partnering with stakeholders to accelerate change and help to tackle one of the biggest challenges of our generation. There is much to do across Europe, from electrifying depots and accelerating the deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure, to working with energy companies to ensure the grid is able to cater for demand, but I am confident that by working together in partnership we will build a better and greener future where passenger transport is the best choice!
Q: Tell us about the Zero Emission Institute and how this has impacted your journey to net-zero
In its first year of existence, the Zero Emission Institute has made great strides. We have been very focussed on the development of strategic partnerships – and these have helped us in a number of ways. We’ve been able to build relationships with organisations that share our ambitions and goals for a climate-netural future in transportation. This has helped us successfully secure EU funding, which in turn has seen Arriva taking part in some high-profile technological trials across multiple countries in Europe.
Through these relationships we have also run educational webinars to share knowledge and best practise across our European businesses. We have hosted country visits which have allowed clients, suppliers and Arriva businesses to come together and learn from eachother. We have facilitated training and knowledge build for our engineering teams to ensure they are equipped to look after the vehicles of the future. The ZE Institute has also been instrumental in the running of a number of trials to evaluate energy efficiency and product quality amongst different technologies. We will continue to capture data which will be shared across our European businesses, equipping them with expertise which can in turn be shared with local authorities.
Q: What can we expect to hear from you at MOVE 2023?
At MOVE I’ll be talking about the importance of collaboration between transport operators and local passenger transport authorities. We know that understanding the long-term goals of our transport authority clients will ensure we are able to align our own objectives to help them achieve theirs. By understanding what is motivating a PTA – CO2 reduction versus air quality improvements (or both) – we can make sure we are transitioning our fleets to the right technology to deliver the best value in terms of clean, reliable and safe public transport for the long-term.
You will hear me repeating the mantra “there is NO one-size-fits-all” when it comes to decarbonisation. I will be highlighting the multiple challenges that need to be considered and overcome – for example, grid capacity, the availability of green fuels such as biofuels or green hydrogen, or the challenges associated with their related infrastructure and how that affects the planning process for full transition.
I’m looking forward to some positive collaboration and to further establishing relationships with my industry colleagues.
Superpedestrian is a transportation robotics company developing core technologies for micromobility. The company has spent 8 years creating Vehicle Intelligence, their core technology, which makes micromobility sustainable, efficient, and safe at scale.
MOVE caught up with Haya Verwoord Douidri, an urbanist, mobility, & sustainability expert and thought leader in tech & innovation policies. She is currently EVP of Global market development, policy and strategy at Superpedestrian and came to speak about some of the influential factors driving micromobility and what we can expect from from the company in their third year of shared mobility operations.
We are delighted that Haya will be joining us at MOVE 2023! Find out more below about what you can expect to hear from her in June!
Q: For those who don’t know, tell us about Superpedestrian
Superpedestrian was spun out of MIT in 2013 with the mission to make cities more liveable through providing the safest and smartest light electric vehicle fleets. In 2020, Superpedestrian debuted the LINK Scooter, famous for its patented Vehicle Intelligence platform that makes our operations safer, more efficient and more sustainable. Named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Transportation Companies of 2022, Superpedestrian has become a world-leader in transportation robotics and human-scale mobility, holding over 40 patents in autonomous failure protection for vehicles, automated maintenance software, fleet optimization, and vehicle context awareness.
Superpedestrian operates shared e-scooter services in Europe and the United States. We pride ourselves on being a responsible actor in cities; striving for compliance and delivery of an excellent service, alongside a willingness to have honest conversations about the impact of particular policies on scooter users and modal shift. We believe that in order for shared micromobility to be successful, private-public sector collaboration must be at its core.
Superpedestrian has recently been selected to join the Micro-Mobility for Europe coalition. What does this mean for the company and for the future of micromobility within cities?
Micromobility has enormous potential that is yet to be realized. The fact is shared micromobility will only be a solution to problems like car dependance, local air pollution, congestion and first-and-last mile connectivity if it’s rolled out at scale, and if the industry can deliver consistent service. To achieve this, we need to have a balance between meeting the transport needs of cities and the sustainability of the businesses that deliver this service. Shared micromobility companies will have to be able to turn a profit, and cities will have to adopt reasonable policies that encourage innovation and sustainable operations. We believe that MMfE is an important vehicle for the industry to align and support creation of an enabling environment where micromobility can deliver on its promise.
Q: What makes Superpedestrian unique compared to other providers?
Our scooter looks a lot different, because we designed it in-house. But, it’s what’s inside that really sets us apart from other providers. Each Superpedestrian scooter runs on our proprietary software, Vehicle Intelligence (VI). VI makes our vehicles safer for riders as well as for the public and our employees, by continuously monitoring internal systems, and autonomously resolving small issues before they escalate. For example, on a hot summer day the scooter will detect if it is getting too warm. Then, it will adjust so that it doesn’t overheat. If it can’t fix the issue itself, it will write a ticket to our operations team, who will see exactly what the issue is and how to fix it. This helps us run a safer and more efficient fleet.
Additionally, we were a second mover to shared micromobility, and we see this as a real advantage. Because we began serving cities after they began regulating shared micromobility, we were able to incorporate those rules into our operations and business model from the start. We were also able to launch with the best hardware and software in the industry, building on what we saw were the biggest needs and responding to the industry’s early challenges.
We’re also a little different because we serve cities of all sizes, from the very tiny Manhattan, KS to some of the largest cities in the world like Los Angeles.
Q: If you had to choose one, what was the single most influential factor driving development in Micromobility?
The growth of shared micromobility has largely been driven by the policies and regulations introduced by cities in this area. I see that there are two ways that cities can introduce policies for scooters, and this is going to affect whether shared micromobility can grow and thrive: (1) opportunity-led policies; and (2) reactive, problem-led policies.
In the first approach, we see cities that understand that scooters are essential transport, and design their policies around getting more people riding for essential trips, and creating an environment where operators can be profitable, and therefore be able to provide this service for the longer term. There is a great example of smart policy that encourages essential travel from Seattle in the United States. Seattle began a pilot program this winter that rewards people for riding and parking their scooters at public transport hubs. Riders who park in special parking zones get a wallet bonus from us as well as free public transport tickets from the transit agency.
The other approach we see cities taking is more reactive. Instead of seeing the larger picture, that scooters can help cities meet their sustainable transport goals and get people out of cars, they are more focused on preventing changes to the urban landscape. This is where regulations can become overly prescriptive in terms of fleet sizes, parking restrictions, and operating hours – and this approach can make it incredibly difficult for operators to run a sustainable business.
Cities look around for best practice in drafting regulations that they adopt. There is an opportunity right now to set the path for the future of a sustainable micro mobility industry that underpins public transport and delivers a valuable first and last mile service in our cities.
Q: What can we expect to see from Superpedestrian in the next 12-18 months?
Superpedestrian is now well-established in many of the cities where we serve, going into our third year of shared mobility operation. We’re very focused on the cities where we operate, and working with the cities to tailor our operations and programs to help cities and our riders get the most out of our services. We strive to take a bespoke approach, able to truly partner with cities to get them exactly what they need.
We are also continuing to expand into new cities. We’re bringing in that wisdom that we have as a second mover, and being very intentional about where we operate. We’re not looking for growth at all costs. Rather, we want to go to the cities that are set up for success where we can build long-lasting relationships over years to come. At the end of the day, what really matters to Superpedestrian is that we are helping cities become more liveable with micromobility as a key solution to that end.
We also are always improving our technology. We’ve made amazing strides in the last year at optimizing our fleet operations, and we’re interested in seeing what we can do to build on that progress.
Q: What can we expect to hear from you at MOVE 2023?
We know from what we saw in 2022 that the industry is at an inflection point. I’m going to talk about where we are right now, focusing on the evolution of city policies, and where we can expect the industry to evolve. A recent McKinsey & Company report estimated that shared micromobility could be a $260 billion industry by 2025, but we’re only going to get there if cities and operators can work more closely together to make an environment that achieves city goals while also helping businesses achieve profitability.
Over the last 10 years, FlixBus has been changing the way millions of people move all over the world. As a combination of tech-startup, e-commerce-platform and transportation company, FlixBus was able to establish Europe’s largest intercity bus network in the shortest amount of time.
Q: For those who don’t know, tell us about FlixBus and what you do?
A: FlixBus is the global leader in intercity, long-distance coach travel, operating in 40 countries across Europe, as well as America, Canada and Brazil. Beginning life in Germany as a tech start up ten years ago, parent company Flix is now a world leading sustainable travel brand, expanding to include FlixTrain in Sweden and Germany, and the acquisition of the iconic Greyhound brand in 2021.
FlixBus operates a unique business model which centres around digital tools and analytics to put customer needs and behaviours first. Unlike other coach brands, we do not own any vehicles. Instead we work with trusted, high-quality coach operators to deliver coach services, while FlixBus teams plan and optimise the network, generate demand and oversee the customer experience.
As we continue to scale our coach network, we rely on our seamlessly integrated technology to scale with us. We refine our digital tools and develop new programmes as we enter new markets and develop in existing ones – ultimately believing that technology is the future of travel and the key to our commercial success.
Q: How is FlixBus making their journeys more sustainable?
A: Individual cars represent over 80% of traffic in land passenger transport, meaning they bear the most responsibility for the sector’s carbon footprint. In contrast, collective transport is an inherently green way to travel. Moving many people in one vehicle, rather than using multiple cars, reduces carbon emissions by six – 26g CO2 per passenger-kilometre on coach compared to 143g CO2 by car.
Additionally, our FlixBus fleet is very low-emitting – in the UK, our network exclusively runs on Euro 6 vehicles, the highest environmental standard available. FlixTrains, available in Sweden and Germany, run on 100% renewable energy.
We also know that the global aviation industry produces a significant proportion of global emissions – 915 million tonnes in 2019. By comparison, coach produces nine times less carbon than flying, which is why we’re proud to offer 3,000 destinations on our global network, allowing eco-conscious passengers to choose a more sustainable way to travel domestically and internationally.
We take this one step further for those looking for carbon neutral travel, offering our passengers to offset any CO2 emissions from their personal journeys through NGO atmosfair. 75% of our passengers’ climate contributions are used to fully compensate the emissions associated with the trip by financing fuel-efficient cookstoves in rural Rwanda. The remaining 25% flow into the “Future of Mobility Fund” set up together by Flix and atmosfair, to drive sustainable mobility and decarbonisation in the cities in which we operate. In 2021, our customers saved 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions by choosing FlixBus, rather than going by car.
Q: A few months ago, FlixBus was exploring the use of alternative fuels and had the longest European bus line running on Colza Biofuel. Do all of your buses use alternative fuel? How do you think we get more providers making this change?
A: As mentioned, our fleet is made up of the lowest emission vehicles possible, but we believe there is more we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. We make it our mission to explore all new promising technologies and we’re really proud to be the first to launch a long electric distance coach in Europe, and we’ve since launched several more in France, the USA, Portugal and Germany.
For example, we have a cooperation agreement with Volvo Buses, focused on testing the use of Oleo100 biodiesel, made from colza (rapeseed). Oleo100 fully meets the latest environmental criteria by transforming renewable biomass into fuel. The rapeseed is pressed to obtain non-GMO vegetable proteins intended for feeding animals on French farms, and, rapeseed oil for human consumption. in November 2021, two coaches running on Oleo100 were introduced on the FlixBus line between Nice and Toulouse in France, and in June 2022, our Vannes to Paris line started running on Oleo100. in September, we launched the longest line using the fuel between Brest and Grenoble. Using the biofuel will mean 70% less greenhouse gas emissions on this route.
In 2020, we launched the first FlixBus with solar panels. For this pilot project, FlixBus worked with TRAILAR, a British company offering innovative transport solutions to reduce the environmental impact of commercial vehicles. The solar panels generate energy for the bus’s electrical consumption which effectively reduces fuel consumption, saving 1.7 litres of diesel per 100km, and CO2 emissions being reduced by up to 6,5%. Flix is currently investigating whether this innovative technology could be implemented throughout the fleet.
In Germany, with partners Freudenberg Sealing Technologies and ZF Friedrichshafen, we kicked off a HyFleet project to build a hydrogen-powered engine that will, in the long run, substitute traditional diesel engines.
Most recently, we announced an ambitious project led by OEM Daimler Buses to develop a high-performance full-electric drive for long-distance buses within the next four years. The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action is investing in the project, and we will be testing the technology on two prototype buses in real conditions.
Supporting innovation that will lead to carbon-free travel will be one of the main drivers for change. FlixBus is already doing it’s part, however, to make an impact requires all stakeholders – from policymakers to infrastructure providers to transport operators – to take the issue seriously.
Q: What is FlixBus’ vision for the future of mobility?
A: Our vision is simple and clear: smart, green transport for everyone, everywhere to experience the world. This means accessible transport that is excellent value-for-money, providing great travel experiences across thousands destinations, with convenience and sustainability as our core values.
We believe that the green agenda is the strongest market driver, and Flix as a brand stands for eco-friendly mobility on road and rail as clearly shown through our wide range of environmental initiatives. FlixBus and FlixTrain therefore complement each other perfectly.
We believe that consolidating previously fragmented markets through technology – our data-driven solutions and digital tools – will drive the future of travel. However, our unique business model also allows small to medium companies, i.e. our coach operator partners, to thrive. These businesses are the backbone of a strong, functioning economy and we are proud to partner with coach companies, many of which have remained family-owned for several generations.
In the UK, we are on a mission to become the country’s largest coach provider as we have done many times before in markets around the world. We offer consumers unique access to an international, long distance transport network offering sustainable, affordable and reliable coach transport.
Q: What can we expect to see from FlixBus in the next 12-18 months?
A: In the UK, we are planning to expand our network to reach more cities and towns than ever before, and will also increase frequencies on existing routes to meet the extensive demand we’ve seen in the last year. The popularity of coach travel has soared in 2022, and we nearly doubled (94% uplift) passenger numbers between April and September compared to the previous year. We also welcomed our 1 millionth UK passenger on board during this period.
Flix also reported its most commercially successful summer, transporting over 34 million passengers worldwide this summer across its FlixBus and FlixTrain brands. We anticipate even greater demand this year, as consumers seek affordable, sustainable and reliable transport.
To do this, we’ll be strengthening relationships with our existing key coach operators and seeking to onboard new partners from around the country. Ultimately, we are cementing ourselves as a key pillar of the UK’s transport infrastructure, delivering consistent, high quality