11.–12.06.2025 #polismobility

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Urban drive system and energy transition

Alternative drive systems and intelligent networks

The transformation of the urban mobility system calls for technical innovations and solutions across sectors at the municipal level. Individual transport will not disappear with the mobility transition, but it will change – instead of with gasoline and diesel, the vehicles of the future will be powered CO2-neutrally and achieve ever higher degrees of automation. In addition to this, the objective has been fomulated in an international consensus of shifting the modal split in the direction of the EcoMobility Alliance, meaning to encourage the population to resort more often to bus, rail and bicycle or to walk when choosing the means of transport. This poses challenges for the automotive and supplier industries and at the same time opens up new opportunities, because new business areas can be accessed and one's own market relevance can be increased through the active transformation. To this purpose, the right basic conditions must be created; both in terms of infrastructure and legislation. 

Disagreement still prevails as to when autonomous driving in individual transport will assert itself. One thing is clear, however: not every vehicle will be driven by a human being in future. In order to approach this scenario, a quantum leap in sensor technology, Car2Car connectivity and the computing power of the systems controlling the vehicles are required along with regulatory changes initiated in the context of ambitious economic and structural policy.

Drive system transition, not only in individual transport

Theme Vehicles & drive solutions | polisMOBILITY

A drive system transition must also take place In local public transport, and with utility vehicles, because a large part of these route kilometres is still driven with diesel motors. The challenge is to plan strategically with a technology-agnostic approach while simultaneously developing tailored, innovative concepts; both in individual and local public transport, as well as in supply and disposal and in business traffic. The questions of which drive system technology is best suited for which application and how a comprehensive infrastructural supply can be ensured will continue to be discussed passionately – including at the polisMOBILITY conference.

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An intelligent coupling of sectors is indispensable

Theme Urban drive system and energy transition

In this connection, the municipal power suppliers will assume a new role, because the power fuelling the new vehicles must be generated sustainably and ideally locally. The prerequisite intelligent sector coupling of electricity, heat, industry and transport requires the dismantling of legislative hurdles and faces the challenge of aligning local energy generation and consumption systems with the need for energy security and grid stability. Already today, local best practices in sector coupling demonstrate which measures are suitable for scaling. Parallel with the decentralisation of the power supply, attractive new business models will in future open up for municipal subsidiaries.

Digitalisation also plays a decisive role in the urban drive system and energy transition, because digital traffic/mobility management solutions promise to reduce the complexity of transport systems and increase their efficiency. However, to efficiently harness the resulting potential, an understanding of market mechanisms and the logics underpinning digital business models is needed. Also to be clarified is how the public sector can benefit from the digitalisation of the energy and mobility sectors. 

The links between drive system transition, sector coupling and digitalisation are more than simply indirect and, in addition to their complexity, offer the chance to consider the mobility system holistically and to think intersectorally. polisMOBILITY activates the relevant stakeholders here and gathers them in exciting, interdisciplinary discussion, lecture and network formats. 

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