Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Organized by Ifema and Smobhub, the international benchmark event in this field, held from October 24 to 26, has positioned Spain as an example regarding a "safe, connected and digitized" mobility, as the congress director, David Moneo, explained.
Hand in hand
Collaboration, understanding, flexibility, sustainability and administrative support are the concepts that were repeated most often during the event to emphasize that the common goal of progressive decarbonization towards sustainable mobility will not be achieved unless companies, suppliers, governments and civil society work hand in hand. This message was conveyed by the acting Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, during her speech at the institutional opening of the congress: "Horizontal governance, based on dialogue and cooperation, has never been more necessary. This is not the appropriate field for partisan struggle, but for the defense of the general interest."
In this regard, the general manager of Volkswagen Spain, Laura Ros, defended the need to provide more support for electric mobility in the business channel, since "with the right incentives it can be the great ambassador, spearheading this change."
For their part, Spanish transport companies demanded that technology and aid for the generation of green hydrogen should reach "not only the industry, but also mobility." This was stated by the general manager of Avanza, Valentin Alonso, indicating that the cost of green hydrogen—fuel produced from water and electricity from renewable sources—and its distribution are today the biggest challenges for its implementation.
Regarding the installation of recharging points, companies ask public administrations for more flexibility, agility and greater simplicity in the regulations. More specific in this aspect was Javier Martinez Ríos, director of eMobility at EDP, who explained that in Spain there are "27,000 charging points, but today there are 7,000 charging points already built, which the customer can see in the application, but which have the sign "not working," because they have encountered some bureaucratic obstacles.
Partnerships are strategies to make more and better progress in this objective. Such is the case of Endesa and Cepsa which, coinciding with the celebration of the congress, announced their agreement with the slogan "Together at every recharge".
The round table discussion Transforming service stations into ultra-convenience spaces was attended by Cepsa's Director of Mobility & New Commerce, Pierre-Yves Sachet, and the CEO of Endesa X Way, Elena Bernárdez, who welcomed this union for electric mobility recharging, both on public roads and at home, which includes incentives and discounts for users. Bernárdez stressed that, although they are competitors in other areas, both companies have understood that the energy transition cannot be developed without consensus and collaboration.
In the political arena, the acting Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda also stressed this philosophy, stating that the challenge of achieving sustainable mobility requires the involvement of all public authorities: government, autonomous communities and city councils.
The future of the Atlantic and Mediterranean Corridors
Another important announcement at the GMC was the confirmation of the Spanish government's commitment to the future of the Atlantic and Mediterranean corridors, backed by the more than 27 billion euros it plans to invest in their deployment and upgrading until 2030, and the 3.334 billion allocated in the 2023 budgets to complete and extend them.
Both trans-European corridors are a "key" multimodal infrastructure for the economic and social development of Spain and connections with Europe, as well as for the decarbonization of freight and passenger transport, said the Secretary of State for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, David Lucas.
The presence at the congress of the pilot and psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard, who assured that the environmental crisis could be solved, albeit by implementing 1,450 projects that would make the ecological transition a reality, also created a great deal of expectation.
Software to make aircraft fuel use more efficient, a domestic system that filters rain to obtain 100% microbiologically safe drinking water, a low-cost process to manufacture biodegradable food containers, a tool to connect passengers on the same flight so that they can share transportation to the airport, are some of the proposals put forward by Piccard.
SAF: the decarbonization of aviation
Among the most crucial challenges to achieving sustainable mobility, measures to decarbonize aviation, with a greater impact on commercial aviation, stand out.
This was one of the topics addressed at the round table Green molecules for the decarbonization of air, maritime and road transport. Although there is no single option for decarbonizing heavy transport, in aviation there is consensus in favor of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% compared to traditional fossil fuels.
Carlos Barrasa, Director of Commercial & Clean Energies at Cepsa, revealed that "Spain can become the largest European hub for SAF and be not only a leader in tourism, but also in sustainable energy and tourism." He further added: "At Cepsa we are already taking the first steps to achieve this by supplying SAF at four of the main Spanish airports."
All the key issues related to sustainable mobility were addressed at a GMC of record numbers, revealed Ifema Madrid director Juan Arrizabalaga: 8,000 visitors, 42% more than last year, in addition to the participation of 500 speakers, more than a hundred companies and the discussion of numerous issues in 120 tables and multisectoral meetings.
The impact on social networks was also notable, with a digital conversation of 130,000 impressions, and in the media, with more than a thousand reports. Thus, the organizers confirmed that the third edition will be held in November 2024 with the challenge of "internationalizing" the congress even more.
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