Event Journal: EMobility Summit 2019, Malta

John Williams

10 Mar 2019

Tilix Smart Energy is proud to have supported Malta’s inaugural E-Mobility Summit. Malta’s potential to act as a proving ground for ongoing innovation in mobility was a major theme of the summit. There was a good mix of OEMs, mobility service providers, consultants and policymakers in attendance.

The opening keynotes were delivered by Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Let’s make the Maltese Islands the first European state running the majority of its cars on electricity. Joseph Muscat

His inspiring call to action was elaborated further by MEP Dr Miriam Dalli and Malta’s Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, Dr Chris Cardona.

Gozo is a great place to prove mobility concepts in a real world environment. Miriam Dalli

Malta’s AI and Blockchain tsar, Silvio Schembri, believes the islands are perfectly placed to take advantage of the rapid innovative and regulatory changes that will be needed for these technologies to go mainstream within the mobility sector.

Experts from the industry highlighted the latest technologies and discussed how the e-mobility sector is rapidly becoming more interconnected and autonomous.

BMW Group Vice President of Governmental Affairs Thomas Becker, presented a broad overview of the EVs market

9% of BMWs sold in Malta in 2018 were electric. The EU average was 7.2%. Thomas Becker

Other OEMs participating in the event included Porsche, Volkswagen and Nissan and start-ups Uniti EV and Fenris Motorcycles.

Norwegian EV Association Secretary General, Christina Bu, gave a keynote that outlined how Norway’s mass market adoption of EVs is progressing. More than 40% of new cars sold are fully electric and this number continues to grow.

Christina also considered China’s position as the world leader in EV production and how the European market is in their sights.

European manufacturers have to act now and respond to a growing demand for electric cars. Otherwise it could be a Kodak moment for their industry. Christina Bu

Tilix CEO, Dr Neil Williams, participated in two panels. First as a speaker and then as a moderator.

EVs combined with smart, digital control of energy is giving us clean air and energy security. This technology revolution is particularly relevant to small island nations like Malta. Neil Williams

Panelist and founder of Electric Vehicles Outlook, Roger Atkins, said:

Given Malta’s finance, gaming, and more recently, blockchain endeavours, Malta could well look to bring regulatory innovation to this sector and, more broadly, to the circular economy. Roger Atkins

To realise this e-mobility ambition, the Maltese government has committed an investment of €700m in the country’s road and transport network to lay the foundations for infrastructure that can accommodate the emerging future of e-Mobility. The private sector is busy too. For example, the GoTo car sharing network launched recently and has put 150 electric cars on the road.

In addition to electrification, other themes explored by speakers included autonomy, V2X via 5G connectivity, power networks, renewables, energy storage and blockchain.

Takeaways from the EMobility Summit

  1. EVs are going mainstream. An overview of the Norwegian market (where 40% of new cars are electric) gave delegates a glimpse of the future for Malta.
  2. Europe can leverage the emerging ACES mobility market as a major job and wealth creator.
  3. Legislation will play a key role in transforming the mobility sector. Policymakers in Malta want the nation to be leaders not laggards.
  4. The transition to new transport modes will come in successive waves. In the short term, EV ownership will steadily increase. Then shared mobility will grow rapidly in the medium term. Fully autonomous vehicles will hit the roads in the longer term.
  5. Mobility-as-a-Service will force OEM business models to change. Consumers can look forward to having much more flexibility and choice. For example, on any given day, drivers will be able to pick and choose which vehicle they want to drive. Yet they will be able to maintain a consistent driving experience because the vehicles will have software defined dashboards which are instantly reconfigurable.
  6. Malta’s doors are wide open for innovative manufacturers and service providers across autonomous, connected, electric and share mobility.