POLIS x TU/ecomotive event shines a light on the future of mobility
Last week, POLIS welcomed TU/ecomotive at its offices in Brussels, where the student team showcased their newest invention: Eterna, the car that lasts a lifetime. Later, the students joined public officials and mobility leaders from the projects eCharge4Drivers and SCALE for a thought-provoking discussion on the future of urban mobility.
On 15 September, POLIS co-hosted several interesting presentations and discussions for its joint event with TU/ecomotive. A panel discussion in the afternoon focused on two projects that are paving the way for tomorrow's urban mobility: eCharge4Drivers and SCALE. TU/ecomotive joined the panel to present Eterna, the newest addition to their lineup of electric cars. The event offered inspiring examples of the work being done on the ground to incentivise sustainable modes of transport and posed important questions about the future direction of Europe's mobility governance.
The future of urban mobility in 45 minutes
After an initial presentation by TU/ecomotive, POLIS invited a panel of speakers to discuss the work that project leaders, cities, and regions are doing around Europe to advance the mobility transition. The list of panellists included:
- Karen Vancluysen (Secretary General, POLIS Network)
- Herald Ruijters (Director, DG MOVE)
- Jeroen Olthof (Deputy, Noord-Holland Province)
- Stijn Plekkenpol (Team Manager, TU/ecomotive)
- Pedro Gomes (Project Manager & Coordinator Clean Vehicles & Air Quality WG, POLIS network)
Under the leadership of moderator Ellen Hiep (Owner, HiePRactief), the group addressed some of the goals and challenges of electromobility in particular.
Highlighting the findings of the eCharge4Drivers project, POLIS Project Manager and Coordinator of the Clean Vehicles & Air Quality Working Group Pedro Gomes addressed the need to accelerate EV uptake by reducing costs for users and unlocking the rapidly growing battery potential of EVs. In addition, he brought to light SCALE's efforts to promote a wider implementation of smart and digitally controlled EV charging systems.
POLIS Secretary General Karen Vancluysen highlighted the importance of alternative modes of travel, especially active and shared mobility as well as public transport:
''In our quest to address the pressing mobility challenges of our time, we are witnessing the emergence of a diverse array of innovative solutions. While the road ahead may be challenging, our members are shining examples of how cities are leading the charge, paving the way towards a brighter and more sustainable future"
Karen Vancluysen, Secretary General of POLIS Network
Eterna, the car with two lifecycles
During the event, attendees got to see Eterna in action and learn what makes this EV so unique. Unlike other EVs, it is designed in two parts: its bottom half is made from durable materials that can outlive the average car by decades, while its upper half can be removed and swapped after 20 years. As TU/ecomotive told attendees, the goal of the student design team was to...
''... make sure that we use our materials way longer and therefore reduce CO2 emissions in the production phase – we simply have to produce less."
Stijn Plekkenpol, Team Manager at TU/ecomotive
The future of (electro)mobility
In a few years, we're unlikely to see Eterna cruising the streets. After all, the car was developed more as a concept than as a marketable product, as TU/ecomotive explained.
Nonetheless, Eterna serves as an inspiration for today's automotive industry. Together with the rest of the panellists who joined the POLIS x TU/ecomotive event, the student team from Eindhoven helped bring sustainable mobility into the spotlight and raised important questions for tomorrow's mobility leaders.