The future of our transport is electric and smart

The structural changes that form the foundation of our transport revolution


The transport sector must change if we want to keep up with the Paris climate agreements and the energy transition. Transport on fossil fuels is incredibly polluting, but we have enough sustainable solutions. Time to turn things around; Twente is ready for a transport revolution. Two Twente Pioneers in this field are Amperapark and Emodz. Curious about their visions for the future? Read on below. 

In short

  • We are on the verge of having a transport (r)evolution
  • Electrical cars will become smarter and more common in the future, according to Tom Velthuis
  • AmperaPark are creating the innovative “AMPERAPORT”; a kind of carport with solar panels on it, coupled with a smart charging system for electric cars

Global Goal

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Guiding change

Emodz from Almelo advises and guides governments, businesses and the automotive industry. Everything in the automotive industry is changing. According to Tom Velthuis, director of Emodz: “Fuel cars are replaced by electric cars. However, it’s not just the cars that are changing; the market is as well. The way customers view products is changing. They do not want to own a car per se. They want mobility. This requires a completely different approach. Soon, customers will care less about certain brands or logos. They just want to get from point A to point B as easy, cheaply and sustainably as possible.”

The market needs to change

So, according to Tom Velthuis, car dealership must look at car sales in a completely different way. They should no longer be sellers, but suppliers of mobility. This means that dealers might seem to be against selling, for example by advising a customer to buy 16 cars instead of 20 and teaching them how to use them efficiently. This may seem contradictory at first, but dealerships that do not make this switch may lose these customers to dealerships that do. The seller should stop just selling cars. He helps his customers better by sitting down with them and solving their mobility problem together. 

Smart electricity

Our current energy network cannot deal with the large electricity demand, if the car and energy transitions continue. The high demand for energy makes the network unstable. Emodz takes advantage of these challenges when developing new business models. For example, electricity could be stored in an electric car if a lot of it is generated. This surplus can then be used by the customer in the evening, by powering the washing machine or the television. The excess electricity in the electric car could also be sold to the supermarket, for example, when the driver does his groceries there. 

Communicate with your car

Electricity is stored and transported outside of the network in this way, and it is brought to where the demand is. This prevents a network-overload. There is also a win-win for the customer because this energy can be sold at a favourable rate. You might be able to charge for 7 cents per kWh if you generate the energy yourself with solar panels. Meanwhile, the supermarket wants to buy your electricity for 13 cents. But how does your car know when you need more or less power? The electric car can communicate with the agenda in your smartphone in the near future. It can determine how much you have to travel from your agenda, and the surplus of power can return to the network.

Green parking

The smart parking spaces that AmperaPark is already producing fit in well with this future-oriented vision. AmperaPark is located in Enschede. They are producing the innovative “AMPERAPORT”; a solar carport with solar panels on top. Your car can be charged with solar power while standing underneath it. It will also be cool and dry there. Renewable energy is generated and used at the same time in this way, which is sustainable and counteracts the burden on the network. The AMPERAPORT is also a real eye-catcher for the public space or the parking space at your company, with its beautiful, modern design. Another advantage is that nature is not burdened by building more solar parks or windmills. One parking space with an AMPERAPORT for six cars, for example, (see photo) produces 18,000 kWh of energy annually, which is equivalent to approximately 100,000 electric kilometres.

From sunbeam to electric kilometre

AmperaPark is developing an energy management system (EMS) together with the University of Twente, Mennekes (charging systems) and Super-B (energy storage). This system will extract as many green electric kilometres from the solar panels as possible. They do this in the SLIMpark project, for example. AmperaPark also offers a service concept to organisations and associations. Customers do not have to invest anything, but they will have solar carports, charging stations and a smart EMS available to them. Payment is based on the kilowatts that are used. 

Special parking garages

Emodz also has ideas on how we can use our parking spaces efficiently. Solar carports, such as the AMPERAPORT, could be placed on top of parking garages. Electric cars can be both charged and discharged there so that the power can be used locally without burdening the network. When cars drive autonomously in the future, you will no longer have to park yourself. You get out, and the car finds a place in the parking garage, where it can charge itself through induction. Cars can be closer together in this way because the driver does not have to pass between them. This saving of space ensures more efficient use of public space and thus frees up space for installing more solar panels.

Structural changes in behaviour

This revolution requires a change in the technology we use, but it also requires a change in ourselves. You can only structurally change behaviour if it is beneficial to the people, according to Tom Velthuis. People are more willing to go along with changes if it benefits them. Elaborating on a vision is crucial in this, and you need to explain how it works. The customer needs knowledge and resources if you want to be able to sell this vision. He needs knowledge of how it will work exactly, and the resources to work with it.  Emodz helps governments and businesses with these aspects of mobility (r)evolution.

Date: 22 June 2020 |

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