How do smart grids support sustainable e-mobility?Energy challenges and solutions.
Next MQ! Innovation Summit|November 8-9, 2018
Which challenges have be overcome in the sustainable mobility ecosystem of the future? What might the business models look like there? Josef Schön and Eugen Filippenko talked about this with the participants in their workspaces.
you work in different departments of AUDI AG – Corporate Strategy and Product Marketing. Is that an indication that the new mindset has overtaken the whole company?
The changes that we are tackling now concern all employees. In our department, we are trying to cast them into one strategy. Audi is subjected to many influences – from politics, society, competitors, customers and shareholders. We analyze these currents, compare them with the possibilities of the company and develop an overall direction from this. In doing so, we concentrate on three areas of focus: digitalization, urbanization and sustainability, which is my area.
Where is this leading?
In 2018 Audi is bringing its first battery-electric volume production model to the road, and then we will be moving toward electric mobility in big steps. The aspects flanking this are interesting to me: Do we want to present ourselves to our customers as a supplier of sustainable energy? There are, of course, some extremely experienced players in this market, who now want to get their piece of the pie – Eugen knows all about that.
Before I came to Audi, I worked for six years at a large power company. The challenge definitely lies in the fact that many different business models are now developing in electric mobility that we have to consider and evaluate. Going forward, the lines between the various business models will continue to blur: an automobile manufacturer that also has energy in its portfolio, a utilities provider that along with that offers cars or mobility, or the operator of a mobility platform that connects the services. The customer then decides on the best offer.
Does sustainable mobility also mean sharing?
In today’s model of ownership, a car spends most of its time standing still – it is a valuable resource that is only partially used. Sharing is naturally a very important component in the sustainable mindset – at the latest, with the future arrival of fully autonomous cars at level 5, which independently drive themselves to the customer.
Sharing already exists, but both the amount and the differentiation between the offers will change. There will be customers that only want to achieve the most cost-effective form of transportation, whatever this might look like. Another customer group will continue to want to own their own car, and the top premium segment with its exclusive solutions will also continue to exist, both in sharing and ownership versions. Sharing will change the market and its mechanisms, especially in major cities.
To properly position itself in these new markets, Audi will need support from the outside…
We are looking to network with start-ups and external consultants. At the moment we are conducting the pilot project Audi Smart Energy Network, in which we are experimenting with combining the home, power grid and electrified car.
We have acquired a start-up from Zürich here as a partner. The world is becoming increasingly networked and we must increasingly network our thought processes. It will be essential for us to concentrate on our current and future core competences as an automobile manufacturer and to seek the right partners for the new challenges.
And what did the participants in your workspaces say about that? How did you discuss the topic with them?
We formed three groups. Eugen and I took over one each and Bernhard Meier, project manager for “smart energy”, took the third. Each group discussed the topic from a different perspective – from the viewpoint of Audi, from that of a power company and from the viewpoint of the customer. The composition of the groups was fairly heterogeneous, though most participants were young professionals.
My groups included four managers from the energy sector, some of whom had already spoken with car manufacturers. But the exciting thing was that, along with the points of conflict regarding who should own the customer data and how contracts should be designed, the discussions primarily concerned something else: Where can we create new, added value for our customers? In the future, more and more people will be wanting mobility packages that are integrated and hassle-free. That was one important issue in the workspace.
What was the highlight of the MQ! for you all?
For one, it was working together to prepare for our workspaces. And then there were the speakers with their unique mindsets like David Rowan and Fatima Bhutto.
I also found Mo Gawdat extremely inspiring and motivating. The entire MQ! was a platform into which a lot of energy flowed and that emitted a lot of energy.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the format continues to develop.
Project Manager Smart Energy, AUDI AG
Bernhard Meier is working on e-mobility at Audi. He holds a lot of knowledge on battery systems and cells. As a smart energy expert he was able to give great input on the challenges of future e-mobility ecosystems.
Product Marketing Electrification, AUDI AG
Eugen Filippenko started his career on the other side of e-mobility – at E.ON, one of the biggest electricity suppliers in Germany. As a product marketer he knows about the customer's perspective on electrification.
Corporate Strategy Sustainability, AUDI AG
Josef Schön brings 20 years of experience to the summit. He is a specialist in business strategies – especially concerning sustainability. He shared tons of valuable information about the link between sustainability and e-mobility.