Electric vehicles are regarded as one of the cleanest solutions for urban mobility. Due to daily congested roads in and around agglomerations with highly polluting stop-and-go traffic, electromobility with zero-emissions in cities will bring large and quick gains in greenhouse gas reduction and alleviation of air and noise pollution. Moreover, innovative green vehicle concepts will lead to new and sustainable mobility forms in urban mobility. Some already see a new electric mobility age to come up.
However, a fast uptake of electromobility depends on appropriate regional infrastructures, a shift in user patterns, and intelligent vehicle-use concepts embedded in the urban transport environment. The market potential is considered to be enormous.
The overall goal of ELMO's is to promote more sustainable transport through the development of electromobility solutions for cities and regions (ELMO's). The project aims at delivering concepts for a better exchange of electromobility knowledge at regional and EU level, concepts for new business models and for cross-border field tests which should lead to an improved standardisation in electromobility technology and to new insights in applied science. The project therefore, contributes to enhance the regional capacities for a fostering of the sustainable transport-related economy.
The working scheme is designed to achieve these objectives: High-level expert round tables and international networks will gather additional expertise. Two EU-mentoring regions have been involved from the start. From the sectors ICT, automotive and renewable energy, four mature and two less RDCs in geographically linked regions are participating. Their intended set-up of joint concepts for electromobility cross-border testing has never been done so far. As concrete outcomes, concepts for smart specialisation, a joint agenda for future RTDI and training tools will be developed and exciting dissemination actions undertaken.
Taking ELMO's goals into account leads to an integrated research, technological development and innovation (RTDI) circle, which summarises the basic concept of ELMO's. The circle consists of five elements:
- Problem areas to be addressed by
- Technologies, concepts and solutions to be developed through the optimisation of research infrastructures and the interplay of the three electromobility-constituent sectors automotive, renewable energy and ICT
- Cities and regions to establish holistic mobility concepts including provision of infrastructure and incentives
- Market uptake based on cross-border field tests, early adopters and citizens readiness and,
- Socio-economic benefits in terms of economic growth, regions' competitiveness and quality of life.
Sustainable transport in cities
Although there is a lot of hype surrounding green mobility, it has not yet become a reality. Development of innovative solutions should accelerate the introduction of electromobility in cities and regions on the regional, national and EU levels.
Electromobility is a green vehicle concept that uses electricity instead of fossil fuels and produces zero emissions. However, fast uptake depends on appropriate regional infrastructures, a change in citizens' habits and embedding electric vehicles in a wider urban mobility concept.
The EU-funded project http://www.future-mobility.eu/ (ELMO'S) (Electromobility solutions for cities and regions) facilitated the development and implementation of such transport systems. The consortium consisted of 10 project partners from 6 regions, representing 846 companies, 28 research institutions, 27 public authorities and 31 other regional stakeholders from their regions or respective regional clusters.
ELMO'S delivered concepts for better exchange of electromobility knowledge, new business models and cross-border field tests. These were mainly aimed at creating new mobility patterns in urban environments and improving standardisation in electromobility technology.
A first step towards achieving a modal shift for sustainable growth was taken by gathering and analysing all available knowledge in different regions, research-driven clusters and at EU level regarding electromobility. Partners also conducted a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis, serving the formulation of joint research and business strategies.
A joint action plan helped develop a commonly accepted framework for future joint transnational actions related to research-driven economic development and cluster competitiveness. Better integration of research agendas and effective cluster policies should facilitate research, technological development and innovation (RTDI) in the automotive, renewable energy, and information and communications technology sectors. ELMO'S also brought together innovators from different sectors as well as with investors to identify opportunities for joint RTDI and respective funding sources.
Mentoring for capacity building and mutual learning were central elements of the project. To further develop RTDI potential in less advanced regions, the team selected two mentee clusters. Activities included analysing their specific thematic priorities and developing mentoring schemes.
ELMO'S promoted electromobility solutions on all levels through knowledge transfer, training tools and a European Electromobility Inventory that is accessible via the project web portal. These activities helped to mainstream the electromobility knowledge gained and can have great impact on other clusters, regions, stakeholders, researchers and investors.