E-mobility for sustainability and competitiveness


The transport system is critical to European businesses and global supply chains, contributing around 5% to EU GDP and employing more than 10 million people in Europe. At the same time, transport is not without costs to our society: greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions, noise, road crashes and congestion. Today, transport emissions represent around one quarter of the EU's total GHG emissions. Join this CONNECT University session and discover how we can make the European transport not only more sustainable, but also more competitive globally, as well as more resistant to any future shocks.

Background information

This event is part of the CONNECT University Summer School 2021 on Digital for our Planet that aims to present cutting-edge innovations addressing how can digital technologies be harnessed to tackle climate change, both in terms of a greener digital system, as well as their role in helping reducing carbon emissions across industries. Check this blogpost for the full programme and more information. 

E-mobility for sustainability and competitiveness


Moderator and introductory speech: Kristian Hedberg, Head of Unit, Sustainable & Intelligent Transport DG MOVE, European Commission

A Finnish national, Mr Hedberg holds an MBA/Economics degree from the Turku School of Economics in Turku, Finland and a post-graduate diploma from the School of International Relations of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He joined the European Commission as a desk officer in DG Competition in 1996 and later worked in DG Enlargement. Mr Hedberg pursued his career as a Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Liikanen (Enterprise policy and Information society) and thereafter of the Cabinet of Commissioner Rehn (Enlargement policy). In 2007, he became the Deputy Head of the Cabinet of Commissioner Kuneva (Consumer policy). In 2009, he joined DG Enlargement as the Head of Unit responsible for relations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In 2012, he took up the post of Head of Unit dealing with Land Transport Policy in the Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE). From 2014 to 2019 he was the Deputy Head of Commissioner Bieńkowska's Cabinet (Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs). In 2019, he returned to DG MOVE as the Head of Unit responsible Policy coordination and Inter-institutional Relations. In 2021, he was appointed Head of Unit for Sustainable & Intelligent Transport.

  • Koen Kennis, Vice Mayor of the city of Antwerp (Belgium), responsible for finance, mobility, SME’s, tourism and intra municipal decentralisation

Title of the presentation: MaaS and modal shift: the view from Antwerp

As vice mayor, responsible for mobility, Koen Kennis focuses on a smoother traffic flow, safer roads and increased liveability. With among other things the construction of the Oosterweel link - the ring road around Antwerp and one of the largest infrastructural projects in Western Europe  - there will be fewer traffic congestions, fewer accidents and an improved quality of life in the Antwerp region. In the meantime, to ensure the accessibility of city and port, Koen is currently realizing a set of multimodal mobility projects and is creating a modal shift towards, more durabele ways of transport, public transportation and shared mobility systems.

Koen Kennis is a Flemish politician with over 20 years’ political experience and a member of the N-VA (New Flemish Alliance), a political party whose ancestry is rooted in democratic Flemish nationalism. 

Koen Kennis is currently vice mayor of the city of Antwerp and responsible for finance, mobility, SME’s, tourism and intra municipal decentralisation and this since 2013. He also chairs the  Antwerp Transport Region, a platform consisting of 31 municipalities (1,1 million inhabitants) and coordinating transport modes in the Antwerp region. Early 2021  Koen Kennis was appointed as chairman of the CIVITAS Policy Advisory Comittee (PAC) for a periode of 2 years.

Initially, Koen started his career in the private sector as manager for Belgavia from 1994 till 1997, and later on as managing consultant for Stork Asset management Solutions from 1997 till 2009. From 2009 till 2012 he was the senior advisor to Geert Bourgeois, the then Vice-Minister-President of the Flemish Government.

Koen Kennis is born and raised in Antwerp. Koen is respected by both friends and opponents as a passionate politician and a hard worker who possesses first-class knowledge of his dossiers.

  • Tilmann Vahle, Project lead, Circular Cars Initiative policy work stream, Coordinator, CEID Working Group Circular Traction Batteries, SYSTEMIQ

Title of the presentation: Resource-Efficient Battery Life Cycles. Driving Electric Mobility with the Digital Circular Economy

With a decade of experience in sustainable industry and mobility from Volkswagen Corporate Foresight, GIZ, Desertec Foundation and EY Sustainability, Tilmann is leading projects related to circular mobility and industrial solutions at SYSTEMIQ. In this, his focus lies on circularity for vehicle traction batteries and digital sustainable supply chain management.

  • Matthew Richardson, Global Head of Electrification & Sustainability, Uber

Title of the presentation: 'We're in it together: Partnering for Greener, Smarter Cities'

Last year Uber committed to an ambitious programme of electrification, led from Europe where 50% of kms driven will be fully electric by 2025 across Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Lisbon, London, Madrid & Paris. Matthew leads Uber's work in this area, partnering with drivers, distributors, carmakers, charging companies and policymakers to create an ecosystem for electrification. He led the publication of Uber's 2020 SPARK! report which discusses the barriers that high kilometre commercial drivers face in moving to an EV, and how the industry can work together in helping drivers to overcome them.

  • Ida Schauman, Head of Government Affairs at Maas Global 

Title of the presentation: Mobility-as-a-Service – the end of car ownership?

Ida Schauman joined MaaS Global - the first mobility-as-a-service operator in the world -at the beginning of 2020 to lead the work on policy and government affairs. She has an extensive background in public affairs, having worked with mobility issues as a policy professional at the Parliament of Finland, as a consultant and as a full-time politician. Prior to joining MG, she functioned as Head of Public Affairs at a UN organisation. In addition to her professional work, Schauman is a City Councillor and a member of the City Council governing board in Turku, one of the largest and greenest cities in Finland. 

We're in it together: Partnering for Greener, Smarter Cities
(3.84 MB - PDF)
Resource efficiency battery life cycles
(2.33 MB - PDF)