Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

On May 16th I moderated the second panel at the Digital Green Auto Summit 2020 with the urgent topic «Sustainability« with selected European mobility experts.

The focus of the event is on environment-friendly technologies key trends, challenges, and opportunities in Europe, as well as regional impacts and domestic priorities. Industry professionals and policymakers will delve into debates on the next generation of electric vehicles, delivering electric vehicle efficiency, V2G Technology and the vital topic of safety and legislation.

The 1st panel: Electrification moderated by Wulf Schlachter

Two experts from XX and Germany gave their insights on
. An open discussion with all speakers followed.Statement Wulf (hp)
Wulf Schlachter, CEO of DXBe Management


  • Martin Lischka (Pininfarina, the head of product managemen)
  • Simon Vogt (Founder &Charge)

The first panel started with a discussion on the effects of Covid-19 in the automotive industry. As Martin Lischka from Pininfarina, the head of product management said, “it will be disrupting not only automotive, but the whole future mobility business that we are in“. He also discussed that the product cannot exist without the brand and otherwise, so we should never split these two topics. It is the same with Pininfarina – “We are focusing on sustainability and beautiful design, that is really in our legacy since the beginning in 1930 until today”. Martin Lischka noted that bringing the dreams of its founder Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina, to have a car of his own name, is very important to the company. Today they are proud of their supercar with a potential zero-emission range of over 300 miles. Power and torque equate to 1,900 bhp and 2,300 Nm respectively, meaning the Battista has the potential to accelerate to 62 mph in less than two seconds, faster than a Formula 1 car, and break the 250 mph top speed barrier. Coming back to the trending topic Covid-19.  It was emphasized on the fact that owning a vehicle will be a little bit more attractive in the future compared to nowadays, as at the moment everyone is trying to stay safe, thus driving their own vehicle. Finishing up Martin Lischka said that we „want to have a fantastic sustainable approach with luxury brand C02 neutral in a whole set up of a company“.

Next interesting speaker, Simon Vogt, a Founder of the green tech startup &Charge briefly introduces what the company is about and its driving force.  “Our first service is to offer free sustainable mobility”, said Simon Vogt. This free service of &Charge can be obtained by doing online shopping and collecting „kilometres & miles“ with every purchase, which are converted to free sustainable mobility. Moreover, an exciting photo challenge was briefly described – their users get rewarded with kilometres for a picture they take from charging stations, as the location of these stations is important. “It goes like crazy! We received more than 20 000 pictures in the last 3 months“, Simon Vogt said.

While discussing and answering questions, Wulf Schlachter, CEO of DXBe Management and moderator of 1st discussion said that “there will be a market consolidation also on OEM side” and it is hard to calculate exactly how much the automotive industry was affected by Covid-19, but it is pretty clear that “OEMs have many cars in their pipeline”, so it is normal that everybody is trying to get back in shape and to be ready when the pandemic is over.

The 2nd panel: Sustainability moderated by Hans-Peter Kleebinder:

Three experts from UK and Germany gave their insights on urging questions regarding sustainability and micro-mobility. An open discussion with all speakers followed.


  • Lukas Neckermann (Managing Director, Neckermann Strategic Advisors)
  • Michael Fischer (Digital Solutions and Electrification, Honda R&D Europe)
  • Wim Ouboter (CEO and Founder, Microlino AG)

Hans-Peters initial food-for-thought statement:

„Micro Mobility will be boosted by Covid-19“ ….. ERGÄNZEN HP

First speaker, Lukas Neckermann, Managing Director of Neckermann Strategic Advisors, leading consultancy in Mobility in Smart Cities. While introducing his book on the mobility revolution, Lukas Neckermann noted that it is like a journey we are on. “These things sounded like an ultimate goal, but it is a journey of lowering the emissions that we have across transportation”. We see that there is the emergence of a new reformed value chain and new industry. We have an ecosystem that supports shared electric autonomous mobility and Lukas Neckermann said “certainly that will take us to a more sustainable future”.

Michael Fischer, responsible for digital solutions and electrification of Honda R&D Europe asked a question what sustainable mobility means? Concentration on CO2 exhaustion and emissions is just one of the aspects. Sustainable mobility should have zero environmental impact “we call it triple 0 – first 0 for C02 and emission, the second 0 is energy risk and last but not least the third 0 stands for resources and disposal”- said Michael Fischer. Carbon neutral hydrogen production and carbon-neutral fuels in specific application are very important topics. Moreover, “in Honda we call it a multi-pathway – we have the right product in the right place for the right application by providing the right energy carrier”.

Last speaker, Wim Ouboter, Founder of Microlino, a full range company addressing micro-mobility. He discusses an issue concerning L7e – category between a motorbike and a car. “They think, well this is not a car, so when they subsidize electric cars, they forget about the L7e vehicles”. In addition, he said that Microlino is amazing for sharing: Students, for example, can use an app to see who and on which day someone uses it as well as for short-distance travelling. Also, Wim Ouboter and Hans-Peter Kleebinder were discussing the need for a new mindset and a movement for micro-mobility as a counter-movement to the “SUV-PAndemic”. Hans-Peter Kleebinder pointed out the narrative for this approach: “The amount of resources needed to get us from A to B has increased significantly over the last 25 years. Between the VW Golf of 1995 and the current VW Golf, its area has increased by 12% and its weight by 25%. The average HP of new passenger cars has grown by 66% during the same period.” Furthermore, replaceable batteries and carbon-neutral hydrogen production and carbon-neutral fuels in specific applications were by Hans-Peter Kleebinder.


Final question to the panel: What will sustainable mobility in the year 2025 look like?

Lukas Neckermann:

„We use the default car, as a result we have built our infrastructure, financial environment around it – “I wish that we would break out of this automated notion that we have to have a car for all our transport and we would rely on a DIFFERENT modes of mobility”

Michael Fischer:

2025 is tomorrow, so on one side I am afraid it won’t be too much different from today, but I can answer 2025 with one word – DIVERSE”

Wim Ouboter:


Conclusion of the second panel:

Vielleicht da noch 1 order 2 Sätze von dir zum Abschluss? 




#coronarampup #reboot #EV #smartmobility #Europe #micromobility #sustainablemobility

Author: Dr. oec. Hans-Peter Kleebinder


The thirteenth talk in the clubhouse series “SmartMobility” took place on Thursday, June 10th, 2021, in which we (lecturers, participants, and partners from our CAS program “Smart Mobility Management driven by Smart Cities & Smart Data”) discussed current issues in the mobility industry and answer questions from our listeners.

The central question of this thirteenth talk was:

“How is London shaping future mobility?”

with …

➡️ Catrin Braun | SMART City Expert | Deutsche Telekom

➡️ Dr. Philipp Rode | London School of Economics/Executive Director LSE Cities | Lecturer at CAS «Smart Mobility Management«

➡️ Lukas Neckermann | COO Splyt | Lecturer at CAS «Smart Mobility Management«


▶️ How has your personal mobility behavior changed since you’ve been in London? In London, like in many cities, it is incredibly expensive to utilize an automobile as the main form of transportation. While there are still some times in which driving can be enjoyable, utilizing it as a main form of transportation while living in a city makes little financial sense when compared to the other options offered such as public transport and ride sharing.

▶️ What was the initial moment in which London started to think about shaping the future of mobility?
One of the most significant landmark events that started the discussion around the future of mobility in London was the release of the report “Traffic in Towns,” in which Sir Colin Buchanan outlined the potential damages caused by a reliance on the motor car by transportation, one of which being the disruption of the overall city structure of London. Another would be the discussion around clean air, a concern that continues to be one of the top priorities for people living in London and something that London has tried to alleviate through means such as congestion charge zones.

▶️ Which kinds of concepts for Start-ups work in London?
There is a large innovation culture in London that relies heavily on the freedom of data in terms of land transportation that is offered through organizations such as Transport for London. Apps such as Citymapper rely on this data to ensure that users can get from point A to point B as easily as possible.

▶️ Is there anything that doesn’t work in London that other cities can learn from?
One peculiarity about London that makes experimentation and implementation of different progressive mobility ideas is the lack of consistency and agreement between the different people and boroughs within London. For example, if one would like to drive a rentable electric scooter in one borough, they may not be able to drive it within another. This lack of agreement leads to many failed projects and experimentation such as spreading congestion charging, pop-up bike lanes, and low traffic neighborhoods.

▶️ If you were the mayor of London, what would you change and how? One aspect is London’s role as a leader for innovation for mega cities. London could fulfill this role by following through with more progressive initiatives such as low-traffic neighborhoods, low emission zones, and implementing more pedestrian zones such as superblocks. Another aspect would be focusing on the funding of the future of mobility, especially with respect to the effects of a change from gas-powered to electric-powered mobility. 

“What will mobility in London look like in 2035?”

“Fewer lanes for automobiles, more electric buses, more autonomous mobility, and more integration of apps” (Lukas Neckermann)

“Calmer, slower and better flowing” (Dr. Philipp Rode)

“ …. and greener and more sustainable“ (Catrin Braun)

London provides an excellent example of not only what cities are currently doing to progress mobility, but also of what mobility in cities will look like in the future. Through the many methods of …
– reducing the reliance on automobiles,
– integrating accessible mobility, and
– implementing more sustainable means of transportation,
The areas that are currently taken up by automobile lanes can be turned into public spaces, allowing for a revitalization of many areas within the city. This idea of revitalization is one that we can expect from cities all around the world.



Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

On July 1st I moderated the panel discussion  «The future of the European electric vehicle (EV) market and the role of corporates and the public sector in electrifying their fleets« with selected European mobility experts.

Three experts from UK, Netherlands and Portugal gave an update on the current situation in their region. An open discussion with all speakers followed. The panel took place at the Smarter Mobility Europe Live event organized by Ben Pullen and hosted by Roger Atkins. A first-hand exchange of information for and with decision-makers was provided.


  • Mathijs van der Goot (Global lead electric vehicles, Leaseplan)
  • Penelope Guarnay, (Carbon Programme Manager, British Telecom)
  • Gonçalo Castelo Branco (Director of Smart Mobility, EDP Group)

My initial food-for-thought statement:

„Germany as a developping country for smart mobility is finallly waking up driven by Tesla, Dieselgate & COVID19. Now a broad consensus in society | politics | economics is evolving throughout Europe. We need a mobility revolution in order to preserve our personal mobility and autnomy.“

Discussion points

The results of our discussion and insights on the future of the European electric vehicle market:

Governments within most Europe countries decided to support and subsidise electric vehicles post COVID19. They support EV and sustainable public fleets and not like in the past Internal Combustion Engines (ICE). The waiting time for an electric vehicle can reach up to one year and OEMs are not able to fulfil the demand with the ongoing production challenges.

As a consequence, the market share of electric vehicles exceeds forecasts and expectations:

  • the global sales of electric vehicles surpassed 10% this year with Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands reaching 30-40%
  • the market share targets need to be updated every year as the demand is exponentially growing
  • the more people see and use it the more electric vehicles get accepted
  • Mandatory targets for the public sector for EV adoption (such as in France) support the EV adoption strongly
  • Corporate EV adoption by identifying superusers inside each company and identifying the most efficient charging options for each company

New challenges that come along with the rapid transformation have to evaluated and adjusted:

  • There is by far not enough public charging infrastructure. Not everyone has a garage or space to charge their car at home. Heavy investment in infrastructure is needed
  • The energy grids cannot manage the energy demand if everyone wants to charge their car at the same time. Governments need to step up and implement a smart energy system that supports grid readiness as well as local energy production (e.g. photovoltaics)
  • The government needs an ambitious policy framework to address the current barriers to EVs.

Statements of the panel


Mathijs van der Goot:

„The ‘soft/cultural’ aspects of the EV adoption are very challenging: most driver are hesitant to make a change and want to keep what they already have. For fast tracking EV adoption (1) the support from senior management of a company, (2) local EV champions and (3) the right EV policy are therefore key for supporting this change.“


Penelope Guarnay:

The UK Government have set a target to try and give superfast fibre to all households by 2025, it is a ‘herculean task’ for BT, in response to this, the mileage our engineers drive could potentially increase as we look to meet this target. Transitioning our fleet to Electric Vehicles will ensure that our fleet won’t contribute to any increase in Carbon emissions.

This year at BT we set a Remuneration target linked to our carbon performance, this underlines why it is essential for to BT continuously work towards reducing our direct emissions. With fleet accounting for approximately 70% of our emissions we need to actively address this.


Gonçalo Castelo Branco:

„Corporate EV Adoption Guide as an important tool to support fleet managers in commercial decisions regarding fleets and showing the benefits – financial and environmental – of an early EV adoption.

Conclusion – and my final question to the panel and audience 

The future prospects of e-mobility must be viewed holistically. All transport modes and distance ranges must be examined and characterised in terms of their requirements for e-mobility. In the future, both technologies will coexist side by side. Battery-powered electric vehicles are highly efficient for short distances and low loads. On the other hand, fuel cells are strong enough for long distances and high loads.

COVID-19 is an accelerator for the electrification of the drivetrain. Global EV sales grow exponentially. Public-fleets transform quicker than expected to electric drivetrains. OEMs can not fulfil the recent demand or still have not enough EV models on the market. Sustainable and stable energy grids combined with heavy investments in the needed infrastructure will be the main drivers of electric vehicles. One thing is certain: the future is electric.


Final question: What is your estimate of electric vehicles market share in 2030 across Europe?
(Voting by 68 participants of the conference)

Author: Dr. oec. Hans-Peter Kleebinder

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

On Mai 28th I moderated the «Corona Situation Room #2« with selected experts from the automotive industry in China and EU with 94% of the Chineses industry back on track (Accenture 19.05.20).

COVID-19 laid the ground for this new format of the CAR Institute, organizer of leading conferences of the automotive and mobility industry in Germany and China. Especially the global automotive industry with open markets as well as international supply chains and just-in-time strategy is facing extraordinary challenges. This initiative aims to offer orientation and support for the automotive industry in managing the COVID-19 crisis and improving the German-Chinese economic cooperation.

One expert from China and one from Germany, as well as two industry leaders, gave an update on the current situation. An open discussion with all speakers followed.

The briefing took place in an exclusive round (by invitation only) and provided a first-hand exchange of information for and with decision-makers direct from the Huawei Open Lab in Munich.

Core questions

  1. How do supply chains before/after Corona look like, how do I deal with supply-critical suppliers and countries?
  2. What digital-driven opportunities are there to make up for lost potential after the shutdowns?
  3. How can digital solutions help to make supply-chains more robust?
  4. How can digital solutions improve collaboration within the automotive industry and (OEMs & suppliers) with a focus on China and EU?
  5. How do I prevent delivery bottlenecks and production downtime?
  6. What are best-practices and learnings from CATARC, IBM and HUAWEI?


  • Prof. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer (Director CAR Center Automotive Research)
  • Guanqi Hao (Chief Representative Office Germany, CATARC)
  • Dr. Cesim Demir (CTO Manufacturerand Automotive Solutions, Huawei)
  • Dirk Wollschläger (General Manager Global Automotive, IBM)

Discussion points

The results of our discussion and insights on supply chain & digitization:

Information and communication technology is the blood- & nerve-vein for a digitized Industry 4.0. Headlights on functional digital infrastructure (Cloud Infrastructure and digital Eco-Systems) as a success factor.

As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic the focus of supply chain management changes from:

  • sustainability to agility
  • compliance to resilience management.
  • traceability of goods in transit to predicting logistic lead time
  • Just-in-Time to Just-in-Case real-time solutions

New challenges in the field of supply chain management are to evaluate and adjust. Sourcing strategies, AI and blockchain will profit from COVID-19

Final question from Hans-Peter Kleebinder:

How will the supply chain look like in 2025, considering the transformation speed increases with Corona acts as an accelerator?

Cesim Demir:
„In 2025 All Connected Artificial Intelligence Logistics (ACAIL) will significantly reduce the transport of components with 3D printing technologies. It is not components that are sent from A to B, but data so that these components can be produced on site.“

Dirk Wollschläger:
By 2025 almost 100% of Supply Chain workflows will be either automated or augmented by artificial intelligence.“

Guanqi Hao:
„There will be a global supply chain that will change the world and our lives through digitalization. We need to be prepared for that, and that may happen faster than we can imagine.“

Ferdinand Dudenhöffer:
„We will see an intelligent and smart supply chain. The data will be transmitted in real-time using 5G standard and solutions will be developed simultaneously as well as implemented in real-time.“

Conclusion – after 2 Corona Situation Rooms on Logistics & Supply Chain

COVID-19 shows us the vulnerability of our global automotive industry, which is based on the division of labour, optimization of manufacturing, and especially labour costs and just-in-time production leading to global supply chains and logistics. Intelligent supply chain management is the enabler and blood- & nerve vein. Digitization will be the main driver combined with artificial intelligence and blockchain technology as well as 3-D printing technology.

#coronarampup #reboot #automotiveindustry


Author: Dr. oec. Hans-Peter Kleebinder

Result Blog Corona Situation Room #1 with focus on Logistics

Relevant Background Blog: China: The new global automotive leader


Will the Corona pandemic save the German automotive industry? The Corona crisis is currently changing our view of mobility. On the one hand for ourselves as the basis of our personal autonomy and on the other hand for our economy as the basis for prosperity. Germany now has the opportunity – fueled by the COVID19 pandemic – to benefit from the imminent mobility revolution and emerge stronger.

Mobility as a basic need AND fundamental right

What will change with and after Corona? The more our mobility is restricted, the more we become aware of it. Unthinkable until recently: (behavioural) rules, whether, how and where we are allowed to move. We are more considerate of each other and restrict ourselves. We get creative and change our motion culture: bike instead of car and bus, hiking instead of cable car, home office instead of commuting 45 minutes a day to the workplace. Our attitudes and behaviour are changing. On the one hand, our proven crisis manager Angela Merkel apologizes for these restrictions on our fundamental right. On the other hand, our car chancellor promises extensive support to the car industry to respond to the fear of job loss. The demanded purchase incentives for high-powered fossil vehicles from the excess of German car manufacturers do not lead out from a dead-end, but to a fatal ghost ride in the wrong direction.

Direction and speed are now dictated by others

With climate protection, alternative drive technologies, digitalization and changing mobility behaviour, the industry is facing its biggest challenge. „The automotive industry will change more in the next 5 years than in the last 100 years.“ said the German automotive CEOs unanimously for the 100th birthday of the automobile in 2016. The direction and the speed were and are given by others, especially Tesla. Soon also in automotive stronghold Germany with its own factory.

Future mobility: The how and not the what is in the forefront

Global developments determine the pace of the current reinvention and transformation of the automotive industry: Possible penalties due to emission regulations force decarbonisation and thus the electrification of vehicle fleets. In the long term, combustion engines (diesel/gasoline and gas) will be replaced by electric motors (battery and fuel cell). As a bridge technology, hybrid engines will continue to gain in importance in the next decade. In addition to drivetrains, the mobility revolution is driven primarily by the opportunities offered by digitalization. The HOW and not the WHAT is in the forefront in the future, when we move or are moved from A to B.

Proud of our car industry is crumbling

Now is the time to act boldly and make swift decisions. Companies in the automotive industry must now set the course for successfully coping with the inevitable change. If our German automotive industry does not ad0pt to the future or adopt too late, they risk of loss of value creation. A significant proportion of the estimated 1.8 million jobs currently depend on the combustion engine. COVID-19 acts as a fire accelerator for the transformation to electric drivetrains. This is accompanied by the insecurity of employees and customers as well as the crumbling identification and pride in our automotive industry. Our future mobility is controversially discussed in families, in (social) media and in debates.

Odyssey in the wrong direction

Even before the Corona pandemic, the car industry was under enormous pressure. As the formerly richest municipalities in Germany, Wolfsburg and Ingolstadt begged the Chancellor for support with the argument of safeguarding existing jobs. Their research and development has invested too little in future-proof sustainable drivetrains, but above all in larger/heavier and more luxurious products. Especially in the highly demanded SUVs, which follow our desire for safety, driving pleasure and convenience. The amount of resources needed to get us from A to B has increased significantly over the last 25 years. Between the VW Golf of 1995 and the current VW Golf, its area has increased by 12% and its weight by 25%. The average PS number of new passenger cars has grown by 66% during the same period. Do we now need the promotion of micro-mobility as a counter-movement?

Conflict between economic and ecological footprint

As a result of the Corona pandemic, critical economic decisions are urgently needed. This crisis has dramatically increased the speed and pressure to manage this change. This crisis offers the opportunity to make our mobility more sustainable and intelligent. It is now important to keep an eye on climate targets and the economy equally. The automobile industry must not make the mistake of missing this opportunity to change on the way to rehabilitation.

In addition to the ecological decisions that have been discussed for years, the next step – as a result of the Corona pandemic – is to make trendsetting economic decisions. COVID-19 has dramatically increased the speed and pressure to manage this change. This is not about the question: „Ecology OR Economics?“ but rather the sustainable and more intelligent design of our mobility in the direction of „Ecology AND Economy!“ In order to ensure the preservation and safeguarding of jobs and the achievement of our climate targets in the mobility sector, it is important to support the automotive industry in its transformation in a targeted manner when restarting.

EXCURS with a glimpse to Austria as an orientation

The German automotive industry is undoubtedly the key sector of the German economy. The automotive industry is closely intertwined with a variety of sectors, thus securing jobs not only directly, but also indirectly. However, there are only estimates of how many jobs in Germany depend on car production.

An indicative view to our neighbour Austria can help here. The Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) and the Federation of Austrian Industries (IV) have joined forces to commission a study on the transformation of the automotive industry. Building on the economic importance of the automotive industry (which, in addition to production, also includes trade, repair and all other industries related to the automobile, such as car rental, insurance and driving schools), this study primarily examined the effects of drivetrain electrification on the Austrian automotive industry. The aim of the study was to identify opportunities and measures to remain successful as a trusted supplier location for the automotive industry.

Key facts on the Austrian automotive economy:

Reference vehicles were determined for each drive technology (combustion engines with diesel, gasoline, gas and hybrids as well as electric vehicles with batteries and fuel cells). For each reference vehicle, it was determined which vehicle components are required, whether they are produced domestically or imported and how their cost structure is defined. It makes a significant difference how the market development of the individual drivetrain technologies will continue in the coming years, as components of electric vehicles (e. g. battery cells) have to be imported more frequently and the value creation is shifting abroad.

Therefore, depending on the speed of electrification, a total of four scenarios were developed.

In the most realistic of these four scenarios, more than one in four cars will be powered by battery (26%) or fuel cell/H2 (2%) by 2030. Hybrid systems will have established themselves as a transitional solution. Internal combustion engines will remain the largest group with 72% over the next 10 years.

The impact of the different drivetrain technologies on the national economy is not just a matter of looking at the automotive industry. The upstream value chain with suppliers and the downstream, so-called induced and income effects must also be taken into account here. Methodologically, this requires a so-called satellite account for the automotive industry, which maps the entire value-added network within the framework of national accounts.

It forms the basis of the input-output analysis, which enables the calculation of the most important economic indicators such as gross output value, gross value added and employment.

Regardless of whether electrification is slow or rapid, there are positive effects on the development of the gross production value as the value of all goods and services produced domestically. This is mainly due to the significantly higher production costs of electric and hybrid drivetrains compared to internal combustion engines.

However, a look at gross value added, which is more meaningful in terms of economic power, since the required intermediate consumption is deducted from the gross production value, obscures this picture: many of the newly required components are often not produced in Austria, but have to be imported. In the most realistic scenario, value creation in the automotive industry is reduced by 1.7 percent, and in the most ambitious scenario by 5.8 percent, which corresponds to around two billion euros.

A similar picture emerges for the labour market: based on just under 397,000 direct and indirect employees in the automotive economy, 6,000 jobs would already be lost in the real scenario, which corresponds to a minus of 1.5%. In the scenario of extreme electrification, up to 6.1% of jobs would be lost, which corresponds to 25,000 employees.

Core result: Austria is not yet prepared for rapid change. Many companies still depend on the combustion engine for their product portfolio. A massive awareness campaign is needed for customers, companies and retailers. Openness to technology, innovative strength and the appropriate qualifications of employees are fundamental. In addition, politicians and local authorities must work together with industry to create stable framework conditions and manage the transformation professionally.

Fig. Economic Footprint of the Automotive Industry

Accelerate the start of reinvention

Dieselgate and Tesla have highlighted the overdue structural change in the industry. The German car manufacturers – above all VW – have begun the realignment. COVID-19 has now created an existential emergency that needs courage and prospects for a better future. With targeted support for more sustainable energy production, more environmentally friendly drivetrain technologies, the connection of our transport and new mobility services. Governmental funding can help to accelerate the already due change to more sustainability and realign the business foundation for the future.

Master Plan Mobility Transformation

A cross-sectoral „Mobility Transformation Master Plan“ is needed. This can only succeed hand in hand with the energy turnaround and with technology openness. We need an economically and ecologically sustainable industrial policy – based on the Paris climate targets and the modernisation of our industry.

The German automotive industry has the best chances for the future if it becomes even more innovative and sustainable. Because one thing is clear: Their economic footprint will change. The automotive stronghold Germany is transforming itself into a country of mobility.

  1. Industrial funding instead of consumer promotion. If state aid packages without sustainability orientation are distributed with the watering can, the outdated structures are craved in stone for many years. Every euro of state aid for combustion technology and for the short-term dismantling of vehicles in stockpiles is throwing our automotive industry further back.
  2. The transition in mobility needs an energy turnaround. The central demand of electromobility must be: Only with sustainable primary energy source electromobility can unfold its full potential.
  3. Securing Germany as an automotive/mobility stronghold and promoting start-ups: innovation and research must be supported, incentives for investment and innovation must be created with the premise of technology openness.
  4. New jobs with new skills. New competencies need to be built up, existing engineers, developers and specialists need to be retrained. Without experts for the new drivetrain technologies, connectivity, automation and digital platforms for customers, this technology change and reorientation cannot be mastered.
  5. Information and education. Our population, entrepreneurs, employees and customers must be enlightened and supported in an opportunity-oriented and fact-based manner by credible and independent experts with in-depth knowledge and in-depth experience.

Germany has the opportunity – fueled by the COVID 19 pandemic – to become a beacon and pioneer of the necessary global mobility revolution and to emerge stronger as an automotive innovator.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

On April 29th I moderated the first „Corona Situation Room“ with selected experts from the automotive industry in China and EU.

The reason for this new format of the CAR Institute, organizer of leading conferences of the automotive and mobility industry in Germany and China, is the COVID19 crisis. Especially the global automotive industry with open markets as well as international supply chains and just-in-time strategy is facing extraordinary challenges. This initiative aims to offer orientation and support for the automotive industry in managing the COVID19 crisis and to improve the German-Chinese economic cooperation.

One expert from China and one from Germany, as well as a company representative, gave an update on the current situation. An open discussion with all speakers followed them.

Agenda corona situation room

Agenda Welcome and Introduction: Dr. Hans-Peter Kleebinder (University St. Gallen), Keynote speech Prof. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer (University St. Gallen), Keynote speech Zhixin Wu (VP Catarc), Keynote speech Erich Staake (CEO Duisburger Hafen AG), Discussion round, Conclusion and Closing: Dr. Hans-Peter Kleebinder (University St. Gallen)

The briefing took place in an exclusive round (by invitation only) and will provide a first-hand exchange of information for and with decision-makers on current issues such as production, supply chain implications, digitization, and market demand trends.

Core questions

  1. Production and supply chains in Germany and China in times of Corona. What experiences have been made in China and Europe since the crisis broke out?
  2. What are the new challenges in the field of logistics?
  3. Case study Duisburg Port on German-Chinese cooperation in logistics
  4. What possibilities and measures are there to make up for lost potential after the shutdowns?


Discussion points

  • Will the trend towards globalization continue to increase or decrease?
  • What effects on the vertical range of manufacture and production costs can be expected?
  • How will a change in supply chains change logistics processes in the future, such as the principle of „just-in-time“ and delivery routes air, rail, road, and water?

Zhixin Wu reported on the establishment of a new data management system to optimize and secure supply chains in China, the extension of state BEV funding and announced measures to optimize standards for the European automotive industry.

Erich Staake reported on the first train that arrived from Wuhan in Duisburg 10 days ago since the outbreak of the COVID crisis, the trend that more finished products are currently being transported by rail to China and the potential for optimizing the capacity utilization of freight trains in both directions.

Ferdinand Dudenhöffer predicted that China will emerge stronger from the COVID crisis as the locomotive of the global automotive industry. The USA remains unpredictable. Just in time will stay with stronger risk coverage and digitalization of the logistics chain.


Corona shows us the vulnerability of our global economic system, which is based on the division of labour, optimization of manufacturing, and especially labour costs, just-in-time production, and low-cost logistics processes.

60% of the participants came from China, 40% from Europe. Representatives from IBM, NIO, BMW, Huawei, CFLD German Desk, China Fortune Land Development, China International Promotion Agency, etc.

The final mood barometer among the 24 participants produced the following result:

How do you personally assess business development in the next 3 months?


  • 8% optimistic
  • 55% cautiously optimistic
  • 33% pessimistic
  • 4% very pessimistic

#coronarampup #reboot #automotiveindustry

The «Situation Room #2« will be on May 28th 11am (CET).

Information and application


Author: Dr. oec. Hans-Peter Kleebinder

Relevant Blog: China: The new global automotive leader

This blog is a summary of the study „Staying on the winning track“, commissioned by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) and the Federation of Austrian Industries (IV) [1]. The study was conducted by Council4 GmbH in cooperation with Dr. Hans-Peter Kleebinder.

The automotive industry is undisputedly one of the leading sectors of the Austrian economy. With alternative drive technologies, digitalisation and the changing mobility behaviour, the industry is facing numerous challenges. Companies should set the course in good times to master the transformation process. Political institutions at all levels are called upon to create appropriate conditions in order to benefit from the opportunities that arise in this change.

Until now, there has been a lack of knowledge about the expected changes for such decisions. A basis for this is provided by the present study „Staying on the winning track“ with resilient scenarios for the market share of drivetrain technologies until 2030 and an assessment of the economic implications for the Austrian automotive industry.

Global developments determine the pace of transformation: emission regulations and the associated penalties require decarbonisation and thus the electrification of vehicle fleets. China as the new dominating automobile nation and alternative mobility concepts are also driving electric vehicles. Internal combustion engines (diesel/petrol and gas) will be replaced by electric drives (battery and fuel cell) in the long term.

The future prospects of electromobility must be viewed holistically. All transport modes and distance ranges must be examined and characterised in terms of their requirements for electromobility. [2] In the future, both technologies will coexist side by side. Battery-powered electric vehicles are highly efficient for short distances and low loads. On the other hand, fuel cells are strong enough for long distances and high loads. Figure 1 shows the ideal fields of application for both technologies. [3]

Figure 1: Possible applications of battery and fuel cell powered vehicles[3]

Reference vehicles were defined for each drive technology and it was determined which vehicle components were needed, whether they were produced domestically or imported and their cost structure was analysed. This shows, on the one hand, that there will be a significant reduction in complexity in vehicles in the future, as a result of which many components will no longer be needed, and on the other hand that some of the newly required components will not be produced in Austria and will therefore inevitably have to be imported (e.g. battery cells).

All calculations are based on the so-called base scenario, which assumes that there will be no change in market shares compared to 2018. Only the expected change in demand until 2030 is adjusted. The mix of drive technologies, therefore, remains as in 2018: 94.3% combustion engine (petrol/diesel), 3.1% combustion engine (gas), 0.82% hybrid systems (PHEV) and 1.71% electric motor (battery). Vehicles powered by fuel cells and hydrogen were not applicable in 2018.

How the automotive industry will develop in the coming years depends on a number of influencing factors. In this study, four major drivers were identified and analysed.

  • Decarbonisation, driven by vehicle electrification and emission regulations,
  • Autonomous driving and alternative mobility concepts
  • The global vehicle demand until 2030
  • China as a new dominant power to the global automotive industry

However, the automotive market in Austria with a world market share of only 0.43%, is not large enough to be able to determine future automotive trends on its own.

Based on the drive technologies, four scenarios – from slow to very fast electrification – were developed and calculated. In the scenario with the fastest change (Scenario 4), only 15 percent of cars worldwide will be newly registered with gasoline, diesel or gas in 2030, the remaining market shares being distributed among electrified systems. The authors of the study consider the „moderate electrification“ scenario (Scenario 2) to be the most presumable: According to this scenario, 72 percent of newly registered cars in 2030 will still be powered by combustion engines; divided into diesel/petrol with 37 percent, hybrids with 28 percent and gas with 7 percent market share. Battery-powered vehicles will achieve a share of 26 percent and fuel cell vehicles 2 percent, see Figure 2.


Figure 2: Representation of the base scenario 2018 and the scenarios for the market shares of drivetrain technologies in 2030

The calculation of economic effects for the automotive industry in 2030, are based on modified satellite accounts of the Austrian automotive industry. Due to the previous dominance of combustion engines, the satellite account had to be expanded to include the new propulsion technologies. Up- and downstream sectors and international trade relations were also adjusted accordingly. This allowed us to not only calculate the expected value-added and employment effects of the Austrian automotive industry, but furthermore, the effects on the entire Austrian automotive economy, which includes a large number of other sectors (workshops, trade, insurance, etc. ).

If the automotive industry in Austria does not adapt in the future or adapts too late, there is a risk of losses in value-added. The faster the change towards electric cars takes place, the greater the loss for employment and value-added in Austria. Even in the most realistic (moderate) scenario, a decline of 1.7 percent would be expected in the Austrian automotive industry in 2030, in the most ambitious scenario (Scenario 4) even 5.8 percent, which corresponds to two billion euros. Not only the automotive industry is affected, but also other sectors such as petrol stations, garages, trade or the entire linked industry. If no action is taken, also jobs are in danger: around 6,000 jobs by 2030 in the moderate scenario, up to 24,000 jobs if the change takes place quickly (Scenario 4). In addition, every job in the automotive industry currently secures another job throughout Austria.

The results show that battery-powered electromobility is finding its way into the Austrian automotive industry. Extreme electrification can lead to severe losses in employment and value-added and possibly also threaten the existence of small and medium-sized enterprises. Figure 3 compares the powertrain components of internal combustion engines and electric motors. The number of components required is significantly reduced for electric drives. A conventional combustion engine can consist of about 1200 to 2000 individual parts, whereas an electric motor can only consist of 100 to 200 parts. Moreover, the battery, which accounts for about 50% of the production costs of pure electric vehicles, is not produced in Europe and causes the Western value-added to flow to Asia.

Figure 3: Comparison of internal combustion engines and electric drivetrains

In order to be able to determine the pace and intensity of this change, it is necessary to create appropriate framework conditions. The task is not only to limit the negative effects on Austria’s automotive industry but rather to participate in this new growth market.

However, the change brings opportunities especially for newcomers, the authors emphasise: „The entry barriers are much lower for e-drive systems, there will not only be Tesla and other new car manufacturers but also completely new mobility providers, business models and suppliers“, says Kleebinder.

To sum up: Austria is not (yet) prepared for the opportunities and risks of rapid drivetrain technological change. What is needed is a cross-sectoral „Mobility Transformation Master Plan„, which can only succeed hand in hand with the energy system transformation towards renewable sources and accompanied by scientifically sound and independent expertise. Further recommendations for action by the authors relate to securing the industry location by achieving critical production mass, cluster formation and creating incentive systems for investments and innovation, based on technological openness. New competencies have to be built up, existing specialists have to be retrained and the population, as well as the industry, have to be educated. Austria has the opportunity to profit from the upcoming mobility revolution and to emerge strengthened as a location for future drivetrain technologies.

Link to the study (in German): Auf der Siegerstraße bleiben

Link to Study Design (short version below)

Authors: Dr. oec. Hans-Peter Kleebinder, Dr. Anna Kleissner, Dipl.-Ing. Michael Semmer

Further application possibilities of our model/studio design:

  • Calculation of the direct, indirect and induced economic contributions of the automotive industry or parts thereof until 2030
  • For a wide range of scenarios (combination of drive technologies)
  • For different levels of demand
  • Simple calculation of changes in demand, both in private consumption and in exports (Brexit, punitive tariffs, etc.)
  • Support of investment decisions/support options with regard to efficiency and economic sustainability (e.g. effects of supporting producers vs. effects of supporting demand)
  • Identification of industries with above-average growth potential
  • Identification of value creation gaps (leading to value creation outflows) / Where are there approaches for company settlements
  • Comparisons with other sectors, industries and the overall economy

Possible extensions:

  • Apply this model to other countries or to the entire EU (using a multinational model of the EU-28), whereby the effects can be shown separately for each country
  • Regionalisation for Austria and Germany (federal state level)
  • Regionalization (Autocluster level)


[1] H.-P. Dr. Kleebinder, A. Dr. Kleissner und M. Semmer, „Auf der Siegerstraße bleiben! Automotive Cluster der Zukunft bauen.“, Wien, Nov. 2019.

[2] A. Kampker, D. Vallée und A. Schnettler, Hg., Elektromobilität: Grundlagen einer Zukunftstechnologie, 2. Aufl. Berlin: Springer Vieweg, 2018.

[3] Hydrogen Council, „How hydrogen empowers the energy transition“, Hydrogen Council, Jan. 2017. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 9. Oktober 2019.

The rise of China is often discussed in Europe and recognised. How dominate the power of China really is in the automotive and mobility sector is described in this blog. This blog is an expanded extract of  a study commissioned by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology and the Federation of the Austrian economy [1] .

The automotive industry is a European success story. Over 13 million people work for the automotive economy and generate 6% of total tax revenues in the EU-15 states [2] (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Spain).

However, this position is in danger: in addition to new business models and trends, China’s rise will become increasingly challenging.

McKinsey predicts that this position of strength and prosperity is in danger. China’s recently dominant position in the automotive industry and new business models such as sharing and autonomous driving require very different skills than producing excellent vehicles. [2] Data-based services and shared mobility are cited as examples, which are expected to generate 25% of industrial sales in 2030; in 2018, the figure was 0,2%. [2]

China dominates vehicle production

  • China is the world market leader in vehicle production. [3]
  • China is the world market leader in electric vehicle production. [3]
  • China is the world market leader in vehicle battery production. [4]

The Chinese government’s joint venture strategy has achieved many of its goals. The cars and batteries in Beijing carry foreign badges but are manufactured in China. The country produced around 23 million passenger cars in 2018, clearly outperforming Europe and North America, illustrated in [3, 5]

Figure 1: Passenger car production in China, Europe and USA in 2018, in million units


Source: Own illustration based on [5]

In 2018, a battery capacity of 220,5 GWh was produced worldwide. 134,5 GWh of which were produced in China. In 2023, it is predicted that 7 out of 10 of the world’s largest battery systems giga factories will be located in China. [4]

Chinese electric vehicle start-ups are also leaders in the competition for investment capital. According to Pitchbook Data, more than $14,5 Mrd. Dollar was invested between 2014 and the first quarter of 2019 [6], compared to just over $6 Mrd. Dollar in electric vehicle start-ups in the US over the same period. However, the venture capital investments into China’s EV start-ups has dropped nearly 90% in 2019. From 6 Mrd. Dollar in the middle of June in 2018 to 783 Mio. Dollar in the same time period 2019

China dominates the vehicle market

  • China is the world’s largest vehicle market. [7]
  • China is the world’s largest electric vehicle market. [7]
  • China is the world’s largest ride-hailing country. [7]

China’s rise to become the world’s largest automobile market progressed rapidly. Sales of 8 million new vehicles in 2007 peaked at 24 million in 2017 and 23,2 million in 2018. [8] Most of these sales were supplied by known foreign OEMs. In 2018, the Chinese market was responsible for around 40% of all worldwide sales of the Volkswagen AG [9].

The volume of newly registered electric vehicles in China increased by more than 100% each year from 2013 to 2018. [7] In 2018, 1,1 million electric vehicles (BEV + PHEV) were sold in China, 75% of which were battery-powered electric cars [10]. Figure 2 compares new BEV registrations in the three main markets USA, Europe and China from 2014 to 2017.

Figure 2: New registrations of battery-powered electric vehicles in the USA, EU and China, in thousands

Source: Own illustration based on [2]

To set these figures in relation to the total passenger car registrations in 2014 and 2017, Table 1 illustrates the numbers.

Table 1: New vehicle registrations separated in total and BEVs in the USA, EU and China, in thousands

Source: Own illustration based on [11, 12]

In addition, structural changes are also emerging in the Chinese automotive market. With over 405,1 million customers [13] and approximately 35 million daily journeys [7] in 2018, China overtakes the USA with 58,4 million users [14] and is responsible for almost half of the 70 million daily journeys [7] worldwide.Source: Own illustration based on [11, 12]


China’s market and manufacturing dominance will contribute to the fact that supply chains for electric vehicles will settle in China and the dominance can be further expanded.

At the same time, China is planning to push ahead with the introduction of hydrogen vehicles to become a leader in this field as well, with an 11 Mrd. Euro subsidy in 2018 for fuel cell research and the hydrogen energy economy. [15, 16]

The quality and design of local Chinese automobile manufacturers is also improving continuously. Experts estimate that by 2020 more local vehicle brands will be sold in China than foreign brands. [5] Table 2 shows the passenger car sales in china ranked by the country brands. Approximately 42% of all vehicles sold in China were domestic brands.

Table 2: Passenger car sales in China ranked by country/brand 2018, in thousands

Source: Own illustration based on [17]

The particularly high sales level of German vehicle manufacturers in China has led to a strong dependence on this market. If the business in China deteriorates, this will have a substantial impact on sales figures and thus also indirectly on the Austrian automotive economy. Table 3 shows the dependency of the German vehicle manufactures for the Chinese Markets. In 2017 Volkswagen sold 41,6% BMW 24,15% and Daimler 24,7% of their vehicles in China.

Table 3: Global passenger car sales of German automotive brands in 2017, in thousands

Source: Own illustration based on [18–20]

Some Chinese companies are currently validating exports to the West: the automobile manufacturers Geely, GAC and Great Wall are particularly ambitious in this project but have been slowed down by the American tariffs. Geely, the most ambitious Chinese automobile manufacturer in this respect, bought Volvo from Ford in 2010 and acquired 9,7% of Daimler AG in 2018, making it the largest single shareholder. [5] In 2018 Geely exported globally 27.768 units that represents 1.9% of the Group’s total sales volume. [21] Table 4 shows the revenue Geely made generated in 2018.

Table 4: Geely global revenue ranked by country, in thousands, converted into EURO (1RMB = 0,13 Euro)

Source: Own illustration based on [21]

For Austria: Even if China is only ranked on the 15th place on the Austrian automotive industry exports, the important of that market shall not be underestimated. China as the biggest automobile market in the world influences the German vehicle manufacturers. As the German automotive market accounts for approximately on third of the total exports of the Austrian automotive industry Austria is indirectly dependent from China and the decisions that are made by the Chinese government.

Authors: Dr. Hans-Peter Kleebinder, Michael Semmer


    [1]   H.-P. Dr. Kleebinder, A. Dr. Kleissner und M. Semmer, „Auf der Siegerstraße bleiben! Automotive Cluster der Zukunft bauen.“, Wien, Nov. 2019.

    [2]   A. Cornet, H. Deubener und R. Dhawan, „RACE 2050 – A VISION FOR THE EUROPEAN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY“, McKinsey & Company, Jan. 2019. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 7. Oktober 2019.

    [3]   IHS Markit, „Light Vehicle Production Forecasts“, IHS Markit, 2019.

    [4]   Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, BATTERY MEGAFACTORIES. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 8. Oktober 2019.

    [5]   The Economist, „China’s plans for the electri ed, autonomous and shared future of the car: It does not need to have the best car companies to win the race“, The Economist, 04 Apr., 2019,

    [6]   E. Huang, Venture capital to China’s electric vehicle startups has dropped nearly 90%. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 25. Oktober 2019.

    [7]   B. Collie, G. Xu, T. Palme, A. Wachtmeister und C. Meyer, „Five Ways to Win in China’s Changing Mobility Market“, The Boston Consulting Group, Sep. 2019. Zugriff am: 8. Oktober 2019.

    [8]   C. Gauger, K. Heller, K. Lellouche Tordjman, A. Loh und B. Rehberg, „An Agile Game Plan for Automakers“, The Boston Consulting Group, Stuttgart, Jun. 2019. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 25. September 2019.

    [9]   Volkswagen AG, „Auslieferungsrekord für Volkswagen Konzern in 2018“, Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg, Jan. 2019. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 8. Oktober 2019.

    [10] Frost & Sullivan, Global Electric Vehicle Market Outlook, 2019. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 3. Oktober 2019.

    [11] European Automobile Manufacturers Association, „POCKET_GUIDE_2015-2016“, European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), 2015. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 6. November 2019.

    [12] The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, „Automobile Industry Pocket Guide 2019/2020“, The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Jun. 2019. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 25. September 2019.

    [13] Statista, Ride Hailing – China. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 8. Oktober 2019.

    [14] Statista, Ride Hailing – USA | Statista Marktprognose. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 25. Oktober 2019.

    [15] B. Schmitt, „Hat die Batterie die Zukunft schon hinter sich? – manager magazin“, Manager Magazin;, 01 Feb., 2019,

    [16] M.-S. Röder, Ausgerechnet der Vater des E-Autos in China will jetzt auf einen anderen Antrieb setzen. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 8. Oktober 2019.

    [17] MarkLines Automotive Industry Portal, China – Flash report, Sales volume, 2018. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 6. November 2019.

    [18] „Daimler Geschäftsbericht 2017“. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 6. November 2019.

    [19] Volkswagen Group, „Volkswagen Konzern – GB 2017 – Auslieferungen“, Volkswagen Group, 2018. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 6. November 2019.

    [20] Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) Aktiengesellschaft, „Wir gestalten die Mobilität der Zukunft, Geschäfts­bericht 2017“, Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft, 2018.

    [21] Geely Automobile Holdings, „Annual Report 2018“, Geely Automobile Holdings, 2019. [Online] Verfügbar unter: Zugriff am: 6. November 2019.

Efficiency and CO2 emission analysis of Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) and Electric Vehicles (EV)

This blog is an addition to a study commissioned by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology and the Federation of the Austrian economy [1]. We want to stress the significance of transparent information regarding the vehicles efficiency and the environmental footprint.

In Austria, an Electric Vehicle (EV) needs to drive 80.000km to have lower CO2 emissions as an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) due to the electricity mix of the country. In countries with an electricity production depending heavily on coal like Poland and China, the EVs will always have higher CO2 emissions than an ICE. To provide you a better overview a summary of the essential drivetrain efficiency and CO2 emissions is provided.

Analysing various fuel productions and drivetrains:

For an objective analysis of the overall efficiency of a drivetrain, the entire energy chain must be examined. At the moment this is called well-to-wheel analysis, which investigates the used energy and the efficiency from the energy source to the wheel. The overall efficiency is strongly influenced by energy production. The well-to-tank analysis provides information on the efficiency of energy generation (how much energy is lost during e. g. electric power generation). The tank-to-wheel analyses refer to the used energy in vehicles from the tank system to the road.

Figure 1.1 explains the well-to-wheel analysis with the subcategories well-to-tank and tank-to-wheel.

Figure 1.1: Conceptual illustration of Well-to-Wheel analyses for efficiency and CO2 emissions (Source: Own illustration based on [2])

Well-to-tank analysis:

Figure 1.2 gives an overview of the efficiency in energy production of fuels. Minimum or fixed values are displayed in violet. Values that are dependent on the efficiency of the used production method are striped violet. Values for the EU electricity mix are marked in blue and the values for the Austrian electricity mix are marked in red.

With little effort raw natural gas is produced by drying and desulphurisation at efficiencies around 90%. The production and supply of fossil fuels, such as petrol and diesel, are also produced at high efficiencies of up to 85%. Production efficiency of bio-fuels gaseous is strongly dependent on the raw material and the processing method, typical efficiencies between 15 and 50%. Hydrogen can be produced at efficiencies of between 10 and 80%, both in the production from methane and in the production with electrolysis, values of up to 80% can be achieved. The generation of electricity takes place between 15 and 90% efficiency.

Figure 1.2: Well-to-Tank analysis of the efficiency (Source: Own illustration based on [3])

Figure 1.3 shows the CO2 emissions of the well-to-tank analysis. The production of fossil fuels cause emissions of approximately 50 g CO2/kWh for petrol and diesel. Biogenic fuels are often described as CO2-neutral, because of the collected CO2 due to photosynthesis during the growth process of the plants. However, depending on the raw material used and the manufacturing process, a broad spectrum of greenhouse gas emissions is produced. Some production methods produce higher CO2 emissions than fossil fuels and some produce fewer greenhouse gases than the plant collects through photosynthesis. For electricity, the values lie between 15 g CO2/kWh when generated from wind energy and over 1000 g CO2/kWh from lignite production. With the EU electricity mix 340 g CO2/kWh are produced. If hydrogen is produced by electrolysis, the emission loads can vary from 21 g CO2/kWh to 1400 g CO2/kWh. The value for the European electricity mix is approximately 425 g CO2/kWh and for the Austrian electricity mix 129 g CO2/kWh.

Figure 1.3: Well-to-Tank analysis of CO2 emissions (Source: Own illustration based on [3])

Tank-to-Wheel efficiencies and CO2 emissions

Despite these developments, the combustion engine is not very efficient compared to alternative propulsion technologies. Tank-to-wheel analyses refer to the used energy in vehicles from the tank system to the road. The petrol engine can achieve an efficiency of up to 35% at the best point, and an average of 20% in a driving mode according to the NEDC driving cycle. The diesel engine reaches approx. 45% at its best point and approx. 28% in a driving mode according to the NEDC driving cycle.

The battery-powered electric vehicle can achieve an efficiency of more than 85% at the best point, in driving mode (NEDC driving cycle) an average of 60 – 75% is achieved. The fuel cell vehicle can achieve an efficiency of more than 65% at its best point, in transient driving mode (NEDC driving cycle) an average of 40-55% is achieved.

Figure 1.4: Tank-to-Wheel analysis of CO2 emissions of different vehicle segments and drivetrains (Source: Own illustration based on [3])

The emissions in g CO2 per km tested on the NEFZ cycle for different vehicle segments (B/small cars, C/medium cars, F/luxury cars) and drive trains is shown in Figure 1.4. Vehicles with battery-powered electric motors or hydrogen-powered FCEV as well as hydrogen-powered combustion engines are CO2-free in operation.

Well-to-Wheel efficiencies and CO2 emissions

For an objective analysis of the overall efficiency of a drivetrain concept, the entire energy chain must be examined. This is called well-to-wheel analysis, which investigates the used energy and the efficiency from the energy source to the wheel. The overall efficiency is strongly influenced by energy production. For petrol engines, the Well-to-Wheel efficiency drops and reaches between 14% and 20%. The diesel engine still achieves 21% to 26% overall efficiency.

With BEVs, the well-to-wheel efficiency drops to approx. 32% with the EU electricity mix. With the Austrian electricity mix, an overall efficiency of approx. 50% is possible. With FCEV, the well-to-wheel efficiency drops to approx. 22% due to the high energy consumption with the EU electricity mix. With the Austrian electricity mix, an overall efficiency of approx. 34% is possible. This corresponds to a higher degree of efficiency than with combustion engines.

Figure 1.5: Well-to-Wheel analysis of CO2 emissions of different vehicle segments and drivetrains (Source: Own illustration based on [3])

For the determination of the total CO2 emissions, the values of the well-to-tank and tank-to-wheel are summed up for the well-to-wheel analysis, shown in Figure 1.5. The range of the BEV reaches from a CO2 free operation with energy from renewable energy sources to electricity produced with lignite. For FCEV and internal combustion engines the range is between electrolysis from renewable electricity to lignite produced electricity. The Austrian Energy mix is shown with red bars and the EU energy mix is marked with the blue bars.

With the Well-to-Wheel analysis it is possible to assess the efficiency of drivetrains and the energy transport/production. The analysis above was made with the NEDC test cycle. It is to be expected that with the new WLTP test cycle the CO2 emissions will increase about 20%. Another disadvantage is: the analysis gives no information about the raw material production (steel, aluminium, …), the production of the vehicle itself, the recycling and the disposal of the vehicle. An analysis considering the use phase, the energy supply and the product life cycle is called Cradle-to-Grave analysis. Only with the Cradle-to-Grave analysis the vehicles can be compared objectively and as a whole. The other methods will lead to insecure customers and false information.

What can be seen very clearly with the Well-to-Wheel analysis is that the electrification of the drivetrain requires an energy revolution towards sustainable energy production.

Authors: Dr. Hans-Peter Kleebinder, Michael Semmer


[1] H.-P. Dr. Kleebinder, A. Dr. Kleissner, and M. Semmer, “Auf der Siegerstraße bleiben! Automotive Cluster der Zukunft bauen.,” Wien, Nov. 2019.

[2] Mazda, MAZDA: Aiming to Make Cars that are Sustainable with the Earth and Society. [Online] Available: Accessed on: Nov. 06 2019.

[3] M. Klell, H. Eichlseder, and A. Trattner, Wasserstoff in der Fahrzeugtechnik: Erzeugung, Speicherung, Anwendung, 4th ed. Wiesbaden: Springer Vieweg, 2018.

Thumbnail by Petovarga –

„At last, the time has come. E-scooters are also conquering our conurbations and cities in Germany, proving to be a flexible and intelligent complement to cars and public transportation. I see this first new form of #micromobility as a welcome and necessary accelerator for the overdue #mobility revolution. It leads us to a networked, environmentally conscious and customer-oriented mobility. Away from possession and status to use and share. The question is, how can we together, against our habits, achieve this mobility revolution towards #SMARTMobility – for more quality of life and personal autonomy for all.

So much for my opening statement at the format STREITKULTUR on Deutschlandfunk on June 1, 2019.

My opponent: Burkhard Stork, Federal Director of the General German Bicycle Club (ADFC). He calls for a „modern bicycle traffic infrastructure“ and „We have to get to the car“.

There was a limited potential for controversy; ultimately, eScooters are another mobility alternative on two wheels and enable more intelligent, efficient and sustainable mobility in cities.

It remained open why, despite the bicycle lobby or because of the car lobby, we have not managed to establish two-wheelers as a real and attractive alternative in Germany. See for example Copenhagen and Amsterdam.

What remained open, in my view, was the question of why we need much more regulation and restriction compared to other European countries. And why are eBikes or pedelecs excluded from these exactly?

There can only be peaceful coexistence if there is a spatial coexistence.

We also found consensus on the fact that a „street war 2-wheeler against 4-wheeler“ is going on in many German cities and that the situation is unacceptable even without the eScooter alternative.

The fears are justified. There will be more conflicts if car drivers, cyclists and pedestrians have to share the extremely limited public space in our cities with eScooter drivers in the future. Playing off the different forms of #micromobility against each other is the wrong approach. Both have a legitimate place especially in urban mobility on the principle of a spatial coexistence.

Existing cycle paths are often so narrow that a cyclist has to swerve onto the road to overtake an eScooter safely. In many places it is already virtually impossible for motorists to maintain the prescribed overtaking distance from a two-wheeler. If two-wheeled driving is to be safe (and comfortable), wider, separate two-wheeled paths are needed. And not only at certain points, but across the whole area.

Parking lots and car lanes have to make way for the #mobilityrevolution and even that is still too short. Those who cannot or do not want to travel on two wheels need new affordable and reliable mobility offers, such as ride sharing an intelligently controlled local transport system that provides sufficient capacity at peak times to offer enough space for people and scooters. And last but not least a regulation of car traffic, so that I can get from A to B reliably and without traffic jams and find a parking space (and not continue to waste 30% of my personal (life) time, space and energy uselessly by searching for a parking space.

Transport politicians must finally dare to redistribute traffic areas. This is mainly about parking spaces and lanes. Today, cars in Germany use an average of 50% of our urban space for roads and parking. A car parking space creates space for 8-10 eScooters or 4-6 bicycles. This calculation is rarely shown. Why should an SUV (over 5 meters long, up to 3000 KG weight) have more rights than an eScooter max 2 meters and 0.7 meters wide) in cities in public spaces?

Space in cities is limited and the trend towards urbanisation and population growth in our big cities will further aggravate this situation.

Germany still developing country for micro-mobility

Since autumn 2017, the hip scooters have been in use in more than 130 cities worldwide, where they are part of the cityscape. On 15 June 2019 the eScooter regulation came into force in Germany and it was high time.

Because the electric scooters are a low-threshold offer to cover short distances in city centres. eScooters are used for distances between 0.5 and 4km. On average, they cover 1.3km, i.e. the first or last mile.

Evaluation of the first usage data

Initial empirical surveys and evaluations show that pedestrians and public transport users in particular are taking advantage of this first new service. Drivers have so far only switched to the eScooter to a limited extent. Only in London is the acceptance of scooters higher due to the high city toll for cars.

There is a great need here for well-founded and neutral market research. In addition, education and information is extremely important to pick up potential users and address their fears and concerns.

In my view, the mistakes of the past should not be repeated here. For a long time, eMobility was influenced by negative reporting and presented as a waiver and restriction. To this day, eMobility is a strongly polarising issue and buying and user behaviour is strongly influenced by it.

My quintessence

The discussion about eScooters is about an important step towards platform mobility as the basis of #SMARTMobility, characterised by intermodular, networked, shared and efficient and customer-centred mobility offers in #SMARTCities.

My expert discussions, among others with providers, users, lobbyists and municipal licensing authorities, yielded the following initial results:

  • eScooters are a very sustainable and green form of mobility, which at the same time offers a lot of fun
  • eScooters are an ideal complement to public transport offers and existing ride-hailing shops/service/platforms, because they are designed for the „first&last-mile“.
  • eScooters need to be charged with green electricity (hive) to further emphasize the sustainable approach and meet certain quality, sustainability and safety standards
  • eScooters can – if used sensibly – relieve inner-city traffic. Thus eScooters can become a benefit for the entire city society.
  • Wherever eScooters have been introduced, they have been very successful and have won over many people
  • Economically the eScooters are a „proven business case“. Due to the relatively low acquisition costs, it is possible to achieve a profit margin within a manageable period of time.

Monetization of micromobility

Since the debut of the USA start-up „Bird“, the market has developed rapidly. Today 11 providers with a capitalization >20 million $ (4 of them are from California and 3 from Berlin) share the market for shared eScooters which have collected more than 1.5 billion $ investment. BCG expects a market potential of $40-50 billion worldwide in 2025 (Source).

For me it is crucial and desirable that new forms of mobility offers complement existing ones and are economically successful in the long run. Only in this way will we have more choice of alternatives that meet the criteria of sustainability, efficiency and comfort and become the foundation of #SMARTMobility in #SMARTCities. Micro-mobility should and may be fun and contribute to personal autonomy.

Sources (some in German):

Photo by Zera Li on Unsplash