One of the biggest electric transportation conferences in the world will open its doors from Oct. 9 through 11 in the German state capital of Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart. In 2017, the city’s show grounds will see three events run in parallel – the Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition, or EVS for short, the f-cell and the Battery+Storage. One day before the start of those, Stuttgart will have its Electric Transportation Day, AtEm.
This year, one ticket will give attendees access to three conferences – EVS30, f-cell and Battery+Storage – and free choice between all their sessions. The trio will offer the latest research findings, best practice examples, technology advancements and hands-on experience from projects on vehicles and transport means, electric engines and applications, components, charging and refueling infrastructures, commercialization and marketing strategies, energy and environmental analyses, and transportation designs. Discussions will also revolve around the technological and political developments at German, European and international level.
With the EVS turning 30, the bar has been set higher than ever. All 650 conference submissions have had to pass with flying colors when presented to the EVS30 Scientific Program Committee consisting of 250 experts from all around the world.
The hosts of EVS’s thirtieth installment are the World Electric Vehicle Association and the European Association for Electromobility. After the opening remarks, the floor will be given to Espen Hauge, WEVA’s president, Winfried Kretschmann, the head of Baden-Württemberg’s state government, and Maroš Šefcovič, the European Commission’s vice president for energy union.
Considering the starting date, exactly two weeks after Germany’s general election, the event will certainly reflect the political mood in possible negotiations about a governing coalition. The election may have considerable impact not only on the development in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry, but also on energy storage and electric transportation. When listening to past speeches kicking off the f-cell, one would think it seems only natural that someone such as Franz Untersteller, Baden-Württemberg’s environment minister from the Greens, would have a more favorable outlook on the industry than some of his colleagues in parliament.
The state’s economy minister, Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, did admit to nemo, a local Swabian magazine, that we “are experiencing a paradigm shift from the car as a product to transportation as a service.” However, before Stuttgart’s groundbreaking court decision, she had been doubtful as to whether “there really will be any bans on driving.” She said: “I, myself, have called for great leniency, for providing exceptions in the case of commercial operations and residents impacted by such bans. I would like to see an end to the oft-experienced diesel bashing. That doesn’t help our community.” She didn’t see any parallels between Stuttgart’s situation and the one in Detroit, where the three largest American carmakers – GM, Ford and Chrysler – had to deal with drastic cuts that almost led to a complete breakdown in production ten years ago. “First, the Stuttgart region has a much more diversified economy than Detroit. Second, the American city had started to miss out on important trends,” she said.
Thomas Walter from Messe Stuttgart had a different opinion: “Fossil fuels are past their peak. We believe that electric transportation will fundamentally change the way we travel. But for this to happen, the technology needs to be available on the mass market.”
As in past years, Hydrogeit Verlag is offering free admission to the event. Readers of H2-international can use the EVS30_Hzwei code to register for a free ticket covering the entire three days: http://bit.ly/2vAzguX
The capital city of electric transportation
The main items on this year’s f-cell agenda will be the intelligent sector integration of heat, power and transport; stationary renewable storage in hydrogen, batteries and fuel cells; installing electric engines on ships and airplanes; and the use of electricity-powered trains. A second important topic will be the potential benefit to suppliers and OEMs that decide to switch to battery and hydrogen-electric vehicles, whether these businesses are thinking of setting up a clean, smart and demand-responsive infrastructure or sustainable energy, technology and process value chains.
Both fields will have sessions dedicated to them in parallel on Oct. 10 and 11 at the International Congress Center. The discussions on electric transportation will already start a day earlier, just as the joint exhibition in hall 1 (in the L-Bank Forum), networking opportunities, the poster session, catering and outdoor activities. And the day before, on Oct. 8, people can participate in the Electric Transportation Day in Stuttgart on Marktplatz and Karlsplatz. Titled “Stuttgart, the global capital of electric transportation,” the inner-city event will provide details on the program at the show grounds to road users and potential customers, a chance to Ride & Drive, an electric car rally, and an extensive Q&A on infrastructure and transportation offerings.
The exhibition – at which more than 250 organizations are expected to showcase their technology and services – will provide a platform for manufacturers, users and decision makers to get an up-to-date overview of all forms of electric transportation, new trends and applications for electric drive systems. One exhibitor on the 20,000 square meters will be 3M, a technology supplier whose Advanced Materials Division intends to illustrate together with the company’s Dyneon subsidiary how the fluoropolymers developed in-house can increase a fuel cell’s or battery’s performance and life (booth 1G14 in hall 1).
The organizers of the entire three-day show are Messe Stuttgart, the federal Solar Mobility Association, Baden-Württemberg International, e-mobil BW, Peter Sauber Agentur and Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation. They will be supported by local businesses from the automotive industry and its suppliers. Wolf-Henning Scheider, chair of Mahle’s management board, said: “Mahle considers Stuttgart’s EVS30 to be an important event sending the clear message that drive systems will continue to be developed in the region where the automobile was born.”
What comes after EVS30? Next year’s location is Kobe, Japan. But what about Stuttgart? The state’s show grounds intend to organize an on-premise electric transportation fair called “elect!” from Oct. 8 through 10 next year. Conversely, Peter Sauber told H2-international that he wanted to go “back to the roots” and plan for another f-cell in the House of the Economy in Stuttgart. His colleague, Silke Frank, explained that the objective was to solidify the position of this already established event, which has been held every year since 1997, as a meeting place for the industry in fall and redesign its program with help from hydrogen and fuel cell stakeholders.