EcoMotion 2020 Tel-Aviv: E.ON calls for better EV-charging and greater driver convenience

21 June, 2020
EcoMotion 2020

E.ON took part at a leading E-Mobility conference in Israel – the third most innovative country in the world.

Smart mobility has been the talk of the town for several years, and rightly so. Sales of battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids are predicted to reach almost a quarter of the market by 2030. This means there’s enormous scope for E.ON and its partners to take the lead in building the energy and mobility systems of the future – the focus of this year’s EcoMotion conference that took place in May.

The event brought together the world’s leading car manufacturers together with top innovators in E-Mobility area to discuss some of the most significant opportunities and challenges in electrical transport. Usually held in Tel Aviv – the beating heart of Israel’s booming hi-tech industry – this year’s edition took place entirely online because of ongoing health precautions. Attendees could network virtually, and take a virtual tour in the exhibition with 170 startups presenting their innovative solutions. Through a series of virtual panels, attendees were exposed to topics ranging from urban mobility and smart transportation to market changes and the impact of COVID-19 on city transport.

As one of EcoMotion 2020’s main partners, E.ON took part in a session, discussing technology needed to support the electrification in transport. The discussion zoomed in on improving services and journeys of EV drivers – from general comfort to faster charging and greater usability. Represented by Stefan Herr, Senior Innovation Manager for E-Mobility at E.ON Innovation, E.ON shared the stage with representatives from the Renault Group, BP, as well as EV charging technology startup Driivz. 

Kicking off the session, Gilles Normand – Renault’s lead on EVs – predicted the market to tip in 2025 at which time 10% of car sales may consist of BEVs. This tipping point would be reached thanks to lower technology costs and an ongoing regulatory drive towards fewer emissions. It would, however, depend on the industry’s ability to increase driving range and improve charging experience.

Image of Stefan Herr

Stefan Herr, Senior Innovation Manager for E-Mobility at E.ON Innovation

Adding to that, Stefan Herr emphasized that charging point infrastructure will be a critical factor in improving EV´s driving experience and mentioned E.ON’s innovation in ‘predictive maintenance’. This concept seeks to fix charging point faults before they’re likely to happen, or at least before the customer is affected by them. Stefan Herr also stressed the company’s efforts to look at more holistic issues relating to roaming partners, operability, and greater transparency between operators and apps. He said that E.ON is determined to make EV charging more user-friendly, come rain or shine – quite literally. He also felt that predictive maintenance in charging is an area where technological advancements like inductive or robotic charging could have a big impact to make the user experience more convenient.

Jon Salkeld talked about BP’s role in the development of ultra-fast charging, which he saw as an essential tool for improving convenience and ensuring a bigger uptake of EVs. He said technology should make it easier for drivers to ‘plug and drive’, especially given the trend towards mobility-as-a-service.

Doron Frenkel, CEO and Founder of Driivz and the moderator of the panel, stressed that charging solutions should be easy-to-use and seamless for drivers, regardless of the technology. He also highlighted the need to look at energy supplies, well before EV sales reached the tipping point Gilles Normand talked about. Frenkel also explained how the grid needed to be able to handle drivers’ expectations to charge their vehicles anywhere and anytime. He talked about some of the networks Driivz already manages in Israel and said that batteries and renewables could help balance the grid.

E.ON’s EcoMotion 2020 partnership was supported by our Israeli team. The collaboration fits in with E.ON´s broader efforts to create a global eco-system of promising cleantech innovators, partners and startups – each bringing different capabilities and technologies in the areas of connectivity, digitalisation, mobility, sustainability and urban development.

“The event gave us a great opportunity to get insights on upcoming trends, get in touch with startups and discuss potential launch of new businesses in the future” says Stefan Herr. E.ON’s sheer size and geographical reach  offers significant market opportunities for E-Mobility startups in Israel – EcoMotion's home base and the third most innovative economy in the world.

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