This is a new interview, as part of ELVITEN interview series, in which Ricarda Mendy, R&D Project Coordinator at HUBJECT shares her role and contribution to the project implementation, and views on urban mobility.
Enjoy the reading!
A short introduction of your organisation
Hubject is a dynamic company in the future industry of electromobility. Since our founding in 2012, we have made it our mission to drive forward the development of electric mobility. With more than 300 partners, the Hubject platform is the biggest international digital B2B market place for services related to the charging of electric vehicles. More than 140.000 charge points on three continents are connected to the open Hubject platform. Since 2012, we have been connecting different market players in order to create a digital and cross-border charging network for electric vehicles – the intercharge network. Our portfolio addresses e.g. charge point operators, emobility service providers, energy suppliers, fleet operators, car sharing companies, service card providers or automotive manufacturers.
What is your task and responsibility in the ELVITEN project?
As the project manager for Hubject, I am responsible to make sure that we fulfil our role within the project the best way possible and contribute to this EU project with our competencies and resources in the most efficient and most effective way. That also means to make sure that deadlines for deliverables are met and our promises from the project proposals kept.
Content wise, I did data research and created input for the data analyses and guidelines after the demonstrations took place.
At the same time, I am involved on a very operational level. I took care of designing the sharing scheme for our demonstration with 10 e-Scooters in Berlin, ordered all the equipment, implemented the pilot, developed marketing strategies and monitored the data generation. Thankfully, during the demonstration I had support from our fleet manager who took care of the user coordination as well as the maintenance of the scooter.
What is your interest in joining the ELVITEN project?
Our core business at Hubject is creating a seamless charging experience in the emobility world, for which we created Europe’s leading e-Roaming platform. We wanted to widen our horizon and expand our focus from regular EVs to Electric-light vehicles and get an early foot in the door as they become more popular in modern transport systems. Up until today, public charging is not yet a common thing for EL-Vs, but there are a few interesting concepts that are being tested at the moment (e.g. battery swapping) that we are excited to learn about as well as about the user and charging behaviour that we can observe in the data outcome of the ELVITEN project.
What is your opinion on Electric-Light Vehicles?
I think they will definitely play a big role in future urban transport systems. We might still be in kind of an experimental phase, where various vehicle types are still being tested and infrastructure in cities still needs to be adapted. But in the long run, I think they will be very valuable for the widely accepted goals of getting rid of cars in city centres and creating an emission free environment in urban places.
Could you explain the impact of EL-Vs on urban mobility?
The advantages of EL-Vs are multifaceted and can potentially impact urban mobility via multiple and even unexpected channels. Even though the characteristic of EL-Vs being pretty low-noise is theoretically widely known, it was actually another level for our scooter users when experiencing it for the first time. We are so used to the smell and noise of today’s conventional traffic as well as to traffic jams in city centres that EL-Vs have the potential of taking over almost a revolutionary role in changing but also complementing today’s urban mobility (e.g. as a last-mile solution combined with public transport).
What do you think about the future market for urban mobility?
The current market for urban mobility is very innovative and experimental. That also entails a lot of fluctuation of new market players joining and leaving the scene. I hope that the future market holds a place for the most resilient and long-term thinking ones. Of course, this also needs to be accompanied by according policies and laws that give new and unconventional forms of urban transport a chance and creates an environment for their needs. That sometimes means that traditional industries have to experience cutbacks, but I think there is no other choice than making those bold decisions for creating a healthier environment for everybody and saving a little piece of our home planet in each city at the end of the day.