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

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


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

    This was the question posed by the Münchner Kreis in Potsdam at the two-day symposium “Mobility Systems” in the digital upheaval at the end of March 2019, where experts from science and practice spoke and discussed the following questions in workshops and presentations:

    1. How is the value chain of mobility changing?
    2. What does service centring mean for the future mobility ecosystem #SMARTMobility and #SMARTCities
    3. How is Europe preparing for the #SMARTMobility offensive from China and America?

    The Münchner Kreis is a non-profit registered association, which has been dealing with questions of technology, society, economy and regulation in the field of information and telecommunication technologies and media since 1974. Its aim is to provide people in leadership positions with guidance on digital transformation. The current chairman of the board is Prof Dr Michael Dowling.
    I was a participant on behalf of the Bundesverband eMobilität BEM e.V. as their scientific advisory board and representative for Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and China. Representatives of all affected sectors were present, only the automotive industry was shining by absence and was missing as an important expert and power promoter of our future mobility systems.

    Diagnosis Germany: Mobility infarction

    Mobility is one of the most urgent social challenges of the 21st century and the basis of our global economy. This makes it a driver of growth and prosperity. The freedom to move ourselves and our goods across borders and continents is an important pillar of our quality of life or basis of life, and these in turn are strongly influenced by the change in our climate. Professor Andreas Herman, Director of the Institute Customer Insights at the University of St. Gallen, even declared mobility to be a human right. On our own doorstep in Germany, we are currently experiencing a mobility infarction: On the road, rail and in the air, our mobility behavior is exceeding capacity limits, is very expensive and is characterized by time lost due to traffic jams, air pollution and extremely high land consumption in cities.

    Figure 1: Dr. Mara Cole, Director Connected Mobility at Zentrum Digitalisierung Bayern and Dr. Nico Grove, CEO Institute for Infrastructure Economics & Management, summarize the results of the workshops.

    Who owns the city as a living space?

    On average, 50% of urban public space in major European cities is dedicated to cars, compared to 70% in Los Angeles. The cityscape is dominated by streets and parking lots and this automatically leads to more traffic. Our infrastructure has grown with the increasing volume of traffic – instead of building humane cities, car-friendly cities have been built since the 1950s. The consequences range from polluted air to traffic jams in almost all large and small cities. Last year, air pollution from diesel exhaust gases was higher than permitted in 57 German cities. Initial measures have led to the EU limit value for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is harmful to health, being met in eight cities. (Source; in German)

    Does it have to be like this? The answer is no when Oliver Bertram, architect, urban planner and founder of Wideshot Design GmbH in Vienna, presents his vision of the future. He radically puts people and their needs at the centre of his vision. He demands a higher quality of life, more open spaces, more green, areas for temporary use, safe streets and residential quarters. Today, vehicles in Vienna are on the move for about 1 hour and spend 23 hours in parking areas. In the future, with #SmartMobility and #SMARTCity solutions this ratio can be reversed. So 1 hour standstill and 23 hours the vehicle should be in motion. According to his estimate, this will make 60-80% of all parking spaces obsolete and grey parking spaces could turn into green meeting areas:


    Figure 2: Parking in Vienna (AU)           Figure 3: Simulation (

    According to the calculations of the German Federal Ministry of Economics, 50 % of our value added in Germany is directly and indirectly dependent on the automobile. This could change radically in the coming years: Platforms from the USA, batteries from Asia and “robo-taxis” will redefine the value chain of mobility of people and goods using low-cost standard hardware.

    There is a lot at stake. If the digital platform for autonomous driving with artificial intelligence in the car of the future were to come from the USA and the battery from Asia, Germany and Europe would lose more than 50 percent of the value added in this area. The associated effects would extend far beyond the automotive industry. This problem therefore affects not only the companies in the sector, but all economic and state players equally.

    Extract from the national industrial strategy 2030, BMWi

    Mobility-as-a-Service based on a traffic management system

    All this leads to a transformation of today’s motorized individual transport (MIV) and to an optimized Mobility as a Service (MaaS) system. There was a broad consensus among the experts that a comprehensive “Traffic Management System” (VMS) is needed as a foundation. This system controls all traffic according to demand and integrates all other means of transport. An integrated VMS enables mobility services on the one hand and takes into account our data protection in Europe as a very specific challenge on the other.

    Prof. Florian Matthes, Head of the Chair for Software Engineering of Business Information Systems at the Technical University of Munich, conducted a study in the Munich region in 2018 and showed that the various transport modes and sectors have little or no willingness to share a common platform. The trend is towards many different individual solutions, with each provider optimizing its own goals for itself.

    Whether the customer will accept this remains to be seen. For my part, I don’t want to use more than two dozen different platforms/app services, as is currently the case, but a provider who is planning my trip from Munich to Berlin, for example. This platform should suggest me (m)an ideal combination of public transport, bicycles, scooters and vehicles. Individually based on my mobility behaviour and my mobility data from the past.

    #SmartMobility needs this integrated traffic management for this. According to the Treaty of Rome, the EU has the obligation to design this new #SMARTMobility in such a way that on the one hand competition remains, on the other hand mobility in the EU is realized barrier-free and European data protection regulations are observed. This means that uniform EU licensing conditions and communication standards for VMS and autonomous driving are required – from #SmartData as a basis and control option with regard to planning, but also flexible capacity utilization, right up to real-time coordination between different means of transport. Although these new technologies, Mobility as a Service and also autonomous mobility, are “ante portas”, no activity of this kind has yet become known on a European level, according to the lawyer Dr. Lang, partner at the law firm Bird&Bird. His suggestion: The traffic management system belongs to the infrastructure and thus becomes a public task. Private and public companies, including start-ups, can acquire licences under conditions to be determined and will be given access to the VMS, providing the traffic data in anonymised form. Blockchain technology could serve as a basis here in the future. The billing between mobility platforms and means of transport, the coordination and exchange of data are thus made possible in a secure and anonymous manner. (Source; in German)

    #SmartMobility offensive from America and China

    Is it possible to find an overall European solution? Will there be a solution in Germany or only individual solutions of suppliers and municipalities? Does our policy oversleep the trend and leave the field to the technology giants and market leaders from America and China? These are questions to which we must now find an answer.

    Europe can learn from China and America. Both countries are far ahead of us in mobility issues and the first #SmartMobility solutions have already been successfully implemented. Both countries could not be more different in their approaches.

    The approach in the USA is:

    Business models are developed based on the user and his needs. These are integrated into an overall system without a clearly understood effect – according to purely market-based guidelines.

    The approach in China is:

    A solution is developed by the government for the entire country after central planning and then these are made as usable as possible for the travelers – quasi planned economy guidelines.

    #SmartMobility made in Europe?!

    Claudia Plattner from Deutsche Bahn and Michael Hanke from Detecon AG (Munich) devoted themselves to this topic. Europe could combine the best of both systems. An implementation plan which has been consistently thought through after a clear formulation of objectives and whose solution elements have already been developed with and for the travellers. Europe can and should find its own way here, taking into account our social values and principles, such as protection of privacy. Another way of dealing with data protection is the optional and transparent provision of personal data in return for added value, such as the planning and implementation of individual mobility needs.

    The race for the supremacy of #SMARTMobility solutions, which will be strongly characterized by autonomous, safe, sustainable and intelligent mobility, is on. We should adopt a credo from the USA and China: “Done is better than perfect”. The expertise, networks and think tanks (including Fraunhofer, Max Plank, Aurora, BEM e.V., Münchner Kreis) are available in Germany. The inventor country of the automobile and the railway should now actively drive the mobility revolution and take a leading role again.

    On May 16, 2018, the University of Applied Sciences Fresenius Munich presented and discussed the topic “Designing Digital Cities” for the first time together with the Academy for Fashion and Design AMD at the Zukunfts Forum (Future Forum) 2018:

    1. How do we live and move in the future?
    2. Which technologies will become important and what does this mean for people?
    3. How does #NewMobility affect our quality of life?

    Munich can look to the future, but other cities are currently faster

    In the fully occupied Audimax, curator and presenter Dr. Hans-Peter Kleebinder greeted the audience and three global experts from the metropolises of London, Shanghai and Copenhagen with a strong personal connection to Munich with the following question:

    What must happen that Munich, as the epicenter of the mobility industry, once again experiences a similar modernization push as it did last in 1972 at the Olympics?  

    What are the premises and possible solutions for this?  

    Munich has already shown convincingly how to cope with the future: In the only six years from 1966 to 1972, the city made itself fit for its 1972 Olympic Games and catapulted itself forward by a whole generation span with the infrastructure created for this purpose.

    Car traffic shapes our cities

    Our cities today are infrastructure built around the automobile. The basis for this is the 1920 Athens Charter, which postulated the separation of living, producing and shopping as the basis for global urbanization. This flood of cars has taken over the cities through urban highways and expressways. Almost all other available areas were diverted for parking traffic. In major German cities, traffic and parking space account for around 40 percent of the total urban area, in Los Angeles 80 percent. Nevertheless, people in cars are by no means always mobile. In Beijing, the Chinese capital, people spend 75 minutes a day, well over an hour in traffic jams; that’s about one working day a week. In Los Angeles, motorists spend more than 100 hours a year in traffic jams, in New York over 90, in Munich over 50, in Hamburg, Berlin and Stuttgart 44, in Cologne and the Ruhr 40 – in other words, more than one working week a year even there.

    Urbanization as a driver of traffic congestion and air pollution

    Contemporary and sustainable quality of life looks different. Once upon a time, the separation of functions in cities should serve, among other things, to improve air quality in residential areas. Today, road traffic pollutes the air everywhere in cities massively. Just one example: In Paris, air quality is the top priority issue for the population;47 percent of respondents cite it first, followed by housing (46 percent) and education (37 percent). Anyone who wants to improve our quality of life must move from outdated auto-centered mobility to “human-centered” #NEWMobility, a new form of mobility that does not reduce voluntary mobility and requires multimodal transport services, i.e. choices between sufficiently short footpaths, sufficiently safe cycle paths, sufficiently frequent buses and trains, and easy transfer options.

    • Collective taxi (in Dubai, electronically linked pods of the start-up NEXT are on the move),
    • car sharing (1.7 million people in Germany used it in 2017) and
    • ride sharing (BlaBlaCar as the EU market leader with 55 million rides in 2017).

    A basic requirement of this multi- and intermodal #NEWMobility is its availability, another is its networking. In London, this is done by the Citymapper app and creates transparency about the available means of transport for the mobility route preferred by the individual situation and person. One solution is an app on your smartphone or Smartwatch as a personal assistant for the organisation of individual mobility needs – the travel agency for every route from A to B in your jacket pocket, which individualizes and anticipates and learns to reserve, book and bill for us.  

    These possible premises and concrete solutions of one of the climate-neutral, intermodal and networked #NEWMobility outlined the “Future Forum 2018: Designing Digital Cities” of the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences on 16 May 2018 in Munich.

    Solutions from Copenhagen, Shanghai and London

    Jon Pers, Head of Innovation at the Danish Innovation Center in Munich, presented the example of Copenhagen: The city has to decide what it spends money on: whether for pedestrians, cyclists or the car. In the Danish capital, local politics has given priority to sustainability, liveability and technology, with cycling being given priority 1. The result: 45 percent of commuters come to work or school by bicycle.

    Dr. Rainer Daude, responsible for new mobility concepts at the BMW Group, presented “Vision E³ Way”, an innovative solution approach for megacities. E³ stands for “elevated, electric, efficient” – the characteristic features of the idea, which was developed in and for Shanghai: a modular, largely roofed and thus comfortable and safe elevated road over the existing city highways as a model for electrified pedelecs, scooters and motorcycles. The speed of these vehicles will be limited to 25 km/h and electronically controlled – with free driving on intersection-free routes. Will there be robot routes in the future according to this model, lanes for self-propelled cars, alongside car, pedestrian, bicycle and bus lanes?  Munich, as the Future Forum showed, with its mobility-oriented hardware and software companies is predestined for #NEWMobility as a model city and global #NEWMobility hub:

    • Traditional mobility companies such as BMW and MAN and within a radius of only 245 kilometres Mercedes, Porsche and Audi, new mobility offers such as FLIXBUS/Flixmobility, Clunno but also new mobility providers Lilium Aviation, Volocopter, the TU project Hyperloop and
    • new players on the market such as Tesla, Sono Motors, Byton and Faraday and the EU Mobility Cluster of TUM.

    So far, however, other cities and metropolises such as Singapore, Dubai, Paris and London have outstripped the Bavarian metropolis.

    The author and consultant for #NEWMobility, Lukas Neckermann, who grew up in the USA and works in London and Munich, was not surprised. The more traditional mobility providers, especially automobile manufacturers, are rooted in a location, the more the question of how their jobs can also be preserved in #NEWMobility counts. Neckermann calculated ahead: Private cars, which are usually only used in the morning and evening on the way to and from work, stand around 95 percent of the day unused. In Car-Sharing, cars are used intelligently six times more often than a private car several times a day. If everyone were to use Car-Sharing services and if flexible working hours allowed this, the demand for new private cars could be reduced to one-sixth – a blessing for cities plagued by cars, but an existential problem for car manufacturers. Even if they can cope with climate change with electric cars as a necessary (transitional) solution. Digitization and #NEWMobility will transform the image of our cities

    As the discussion moderated by Dr. Hans-Peter Kleebinder at the Future Forum showed, #NEWMobility has not only friends, but also natural opponents. Nevertheless, it must and will come and give answers to the questions:

    • Will our city still look like a city in the future? 
    • Will our car still look like a car in the future?

    The digital revolution offers new approaches, solutions and design possibilities for improving our quality of life for a better and more sustainable future for us and our future generations.