What are the synergies between the quest for mobility solutions that will ensure a safer, more efficient and cleaner future, and the German Energy Agency (dena)? Luckily, we were able to speak to Mr. Stefan Siegemund, the Dep. Head Renewable Energies and Mobility, and got his take on the role that energy solutions will play when constructing the ways we move in the world.
How does your service change the mobility of the future?
Efficiency, intelligence and sustainability – these are the central tenets of how energy should be generated and used in future. We’ve put it into practice with our partners and clients from both the public and private sectors. Together we are involved in numerous projects and services that will advance the mobility transition.
What are your three demands addressed to politics on a national and international level?
Each person needs to be made more aware of how their individual use of mobility is impacting the demand for various modes of transportation. The “user pays” principle has to gain a much more important role in legislation. Also, consistency is key when it comes to changing regulatory and financial frameworks that aim to reduce emission and support of sustainable business models.
In which way are you contributing to the future of mobility?
Our focus is placed equally on energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and the sustainable transformation of the energy system. For this, we rely on a market that is open to new technologies and innovations. We identify the market barriers to a low-emission mobility of the future, the make recommendations for improved framework conditions in collaboration with partners from companies and politics, thus providing an impetus with pilot projects, platforms and studies.
Everyone is talking about the sharing economy and how parking lots/car lanes/etc. will disappear in the near future. What do you think of this? Are estimations unrealistic and all of this will still take a long while?
At this point in time, nobody knows exactly how mobility and infrastructures will develop. However, we can be certain that major changes are needed for both the transport sector and sustainable mobility in order to achieve the goals in place to protect the climate. But this should definitely be seen as a great opportunity, not as a problem.
Shared services can make a contribution – but only under the right conditions. They must supplement public transport and replace private transport. They are not useful if they contribute to higher traffic volumes and more parking space needed for cars. Currently, this is still the case. Therefore, sharing offers must be integrated into the planning concepts of urban areas.
Where do you see the opportunities for autonomous vehicles in the logistics branch?
Autonomous mobility seems like an exciting approach in any industry, including logistics. Here it is conceivable that hub-to-hub traffic, in particular, will benefit from being automated. The use of vehicles can be more flexible, the driving times overlapping with the times of least traffic on the roads, and the traffic flow can also be increased through new approaches such as platooning. As a result, both cost and emission savings are conceivable. However, rebound effects must be avoided.
What do you think of the interplay between startups and larger corporations?
Both groups are important to successfully turn around the current traffic situation. Startups can score with new ideas and disruptive business models and also have the advantage of more flexible structures, allowing them to respond more quickly to market demands. Large companies have market penetration, the necessary capital, as well as production and sales structures which allow them to implement even larger changes. However, existing structures make it more difficult to change processes and products at short notice. The interaction of both groups can thus help to develop and market innovations faster, such as in the case of Streetscooter.
Stefan Siegemund will be on stage on Tuesday, September 25, in Pavilion 11, Section D to take part in a panel discussion about <Infrastructure for Alternative Powertrains.
dena CEO Andreas Kuhlmann will also be present on Tuesday, 25. September, and will charm the audience on the topic of Alternative Powertrains as a Tipping Point for the Commercial Vehicle Industry.