DS10 Reykjavík Highlights
The fourth Driving Sustainability conference was held on September 16th-17th 2010 in Reykjavik, Iceland. The conference is designed to be a platform to stimulate debate and action and accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility solutions.
The theme of the conference was “Mobility in the next decade – implementing and financing the imminent system change”. The following summarizes some of the key messages and outcomes of the event.
CONCLUSIONS OF DRIVING SUSTAINABILITY 2010
“In the next ten years, mobility needs to be re-defined in the context of energy and environment”
We are moving slowly in the right direction: carmakers are making progress, electric utilities are promoting the use of Electric Vehicles, technology providers are pushing for change and new ventures are being encouraged with public grants. However, progress needs to be accelerated with clear political goals and increased investment in new technology and infrastructure.
In history, we have made some of our greatest steps forward with our backs up against the wall. Now is the time to be effective, manage resources sensibly and make bold, decisive moves. Now is the time to ignore politics and special interests and get on with the business of transforming mobility and contributing to saving the planet in the process.
The Nordic Region is a natural showcase for new solutions and initiatives that can move the world towards a future with green and efficient mobility.
THE THEMATIC FRAMEWORK OF DRIVING SUSTAINABILITY 2010
“Sustainable Mobility in the Next Decade – Implementing and Financing the Imminent System Change”
Cars and Cities
Urban mobility will have changed drastically in 2050. The coming transformation of cities will be led by bold visionaries, smart city planners and companies on the cutting edge of technology. Cities depend on their ingenuity and success.
In the next ten years, increasing environmental pressures and public demand for clean, pollution free cities will lead to increased pace in the commercialization of new disruptive mobility solutions.
Energy and Mobility
Green energy will play a vital part in the transformation of mobility. Alternative fuels and electricity from renewable sources will gradually replace oil. Some of the greatest challenges ahead lie in distribution and standardization of systems.
The transition from oil demands the introduction of new ideas and implementation of projects that help cities change. There are funds available for those who want to participate in this exciting opportunity.
Investment in the Future
SME’s and entrepreneurs that want to make a difference need allies. By joining other companies and organizations in projects through multinational consortiums, they can become parts of bigger solutions.
In the future, the business of mobility may become dominated by multinational companies that begun as project alliances!
CONSLUSIONS OF INDIVIDUAL CONFERENCE THEMES:
THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY
- The private car’s share in mobility will decline
- Personal mobility will become a practicality rather than a lifestyle
- Cities are fighting serious pollution and traffic problems in the face of exploding population growth; current systems are outdated and can’t cope for long
- The re-thinking of mobility is a huge task that demands comprehensive solutions and new approaches; this is a major opportunity for smart business leaders and entrepreneurs
TODAY’S GREEN VEHICLES
- Family size electric cars are coming and prices will come down with mass production
- Standardization of infrastructure and increased range will speed up acceptability
- Smaller city EV’s already have the necessary range and will gain market share
- The advantages of electric cars is clear as the power grid supplying them can run on any energy source; electric cars can become greener during their lifetime!
- Fuel efficient Internal Combustion Engines, alternative fuels and electric drive trains are steps towards greener transport and will continue to evolve in the next decade
ENERGY COMPANIES AND MOBILITY
- Smart energy companies are leading the way towards electric transport by setting standards for charging electric vehicles and encouraging EV use in cities
- Electric utilities are starting to realize that electric transportation means incremental off-peak sales that contribute to bottom lines and improve image
- Oil companies need to face competition with electric utilities for the business of car owners!
PRIVATE AND INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS
- Several VC’s and funds focus on socially responsible investing
- Social responsibility seems to be less evident among private investors and traditional investment funds
SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY INITIATIVES
- A variety of grant programs can help start companies and projects in a market where loan capital is scarce and next to impossible to attain for new ventures
- International and regional organizations support research and new solutions in mobility
- The SMART consortium encourages companies to join forces across borders and helps them locate grants and partners
- Norden is committed to making the Nordic Region “The Green Valley of Europe” and is supporting initiatives that promote this mission
URGENT, IMMEDIATELY ACTIONABLE ISSUES:
- We need to understand the benefits of sustainable mobility
- We need to re-evaluate our mobility needs and be prepared to change
- We need to take responsibility and help local governments make the right choices
- Stay out of the way of progress
- Favor sustainable solutions with tax and benefits toolbox
- Business will lead the way towards green, sustainable mobility
- Business needs to gear up for the challenges and opportunities ahead
- Investment in new transport infrastructure and technology is needed today in preparation for the fast approaching tipping point in replacement of old systems
- Local governments need to start investing responsibly and private investors must open their eyes this massive opportunity