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ICEF 1st. Annual Meeting Summary: Concurrent Session - Automobile Technology
There were presentations held on the topics of next-generation vehicle infrastructure development, fuel cell vehicles, securing fuel for next-generation vehicles, and sustainable smart mobility.
After the presentations discussions were held on a number of topics, including next-generation vehicles’ role in combatting global warming, efficiency of vehicles, and innovation in the transport sector. It was generally agreed upon that the greening of the transport sector is one of the keys in order to achieve a cool earth.
While all panelists held the view that the transport sector will have to be decarbonized in the future in order to combat climate change, at the same time all panelists argued that the “clean-ness” of next-generation vehicles, such as electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, depend on where the fuel comes from. For electric vehicles, there is a need to decarbonize the grid, and for fuel cell vehicles we must take care that the hydrogen is produced without increasing greenhouse gas emissions if the vehicles are to be effective in tackling the problem that lies ahead.
One panelist argued that efficiency innovation for older technologies is also important, bringing down the emissions from existing technology while helping to cause innovation for the new technologies. Other panelists agreed with this, while adding that the efficiency innovations should be applied to next-generation vehicles sooner rather than later.
A person from the audience brought up the subject of start-up companies in the transport industry, and whether the new technologies make it easier for new comers to enter the industry. The panelists were of the unanimous opinion that while there is such a possibility, the industry will still be dominated by the big traditional companies.
Panelists discussed trends shaping the sector as a whole, including autonomous vehicles, energy storage and new patterns of vehicle ownership. All of the panelists believed electric vehicles to be a big part of the transport mix in the future.