In this new interview series we will present over the next weeks ELVITEN partners, their role and contribution to the project implementation, as well as their view on urban mobility.

We start the interview series with an article written by the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS).

Enjoy the reading!

A short introduction of your organisation.

The Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS) – is a non-profit Academic Research Institute established in 1989 by the Greek Ministry of Education. The I-SENSE Group of ICCS is active in the areas of smart mobility and smart societies, autonomous driving, electromobility, smart integrated systems, logistics, security and safety and augmented reality technologies. The I-SENSE Group has been involved in numerous EC (European Commission) funded research projects, in more than 30 being Coordinator or Technical manager, for example NeMo, CyberMar, IN-PREP, SENSKIN, SCENT, SAFERtec, PLUGGY, FABRIC, Autonet2030 and others.

What is your task(s)/responsibility in the ELVITEN project?

ICCS is the ELVITEN Project Coordinator and Technical Manager. It is also leader of the demonstrations WP and has actively contributed in developing a lot of the project apps and the project data repository. ICCS is responsible for the coordination of all the activities of the project and for ensuring that the technical implementation tasks of the project will meet the objectives. Thus given its roles, ICCS is on a day-to-day communication with all WP and task leaders so as to monitor the project’s progress.

What was your interest in joining the ELVITEN project?

When ELVITEN came out as an idea, electromobility was widely pursued as a mean to decarbonise road transportation, however the actual speed of its adoption still hadn’t met the ambitious vision of fully electric fleets. The lack of public awareness and the limited direct user experience particularly with light electric vehicles were the two main challenges to face regarding the usage of Electric Vehicles as a preferred transportation mean within urban environments. This was an opportunity for us. ELVITEN idea was born to tackle all these issues, proposing replicable usage schemes to boost EL-V deployment in European cities for both urban travellers and light delivery companies. And indeed, ELVITEN is the first project to deploy usage schemes to boost EL-V ownership and sharing for private transport on a significant scale and urban delivery of light goods and to organize long demonstrations in real conditions in six Cities involving all light EL-V categories. Last but not least, among the most prominent motivations for ICCS were the social and environmental benefits that the wide use of electromobility will bring out, as well as the collaboration with such important partners and experts throughout Europe.

What is your opinion on Electric-Light Vehicles?

Light Electric Vehicles constitute an increasingly important segment in Electric Vehicles Market, including but not limited to, electric bikes, scooters, tricycles and quadricycles. Nowadays, EL-Vs are cheaper than in the past years. As the ELVITEN demonstrations show, their small size and greater flexibility make them an attractive option for urban use and their good performance and efficient batteries enable their easy integration with other means of transport. Having this in mind, we can say that EL-Vs during ELVITEN have attracted people’s interest also due to the concerns about future availability and price of fossil fuels, the increasing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. After ELVITEN, EL-Vs will be established in the transport sector and in people mind and mobility attitude and in the near future challenging the traditional established transportation norms. ELVITEN project and similar initiatives will prove the possibility to turn this into a new reality of urban transportation in the near future.

Please explain the impact of EL-Vs on urban mobility.

ELVITEN provides support and motivation to widely introduce EL-V in urban mobility. In particular, ELVITEN offers to the end-users the opportunity to share EL-Vs for their daily commuting or business trips along with innovative parking and charging services and facilities. An ICT backbone of mobile apps and fleet management tools facilitates the usage of approximately 400 EL-Vs. The findings of ELVITEN analysis and scaling up activities show that the usage of EL-Vs fleets in all the demonstration cities is expected to have significant impact on the environment, energy consumption, air quality and noise emissions having also in parallel economic benefits. It is worth to note that for daily urban trips of 30 km the reduction in annual energy consumption is estimated to around 5,230 kWh. In addition, a Big Data Bank of real trips and users’ perceptions can be used to analyse the consumers’ needs and expectations and assist on creating appropriate business models, guidelines and policies that will enable the usage and replicability of such alternative mobility schemas to be followed by the whole Europe. Last but not least, the ELVITEN data analysis and derived guidelines and recommendations will give to the manufacturers the insights to develop the new generation of EL-Vs more in accordance to users’ perspective.

What do you think about the future market for urban mobility?

The future market of urban mobility will turn into electric and fit-for-purpose, commercially competitive vehicles of smaller mass and weight. Car sharing of electric lighter vehicles accompanied by appropriate services for their efficient operation and sustainable business models will be the new trend, replacing gradually the ICE vehicles and car ownership by 2050. This will result on refined sustainable urban planning for cities’ authorities, reduced inner-city traffic, more clean and quiet cities with less air pollution and happier citizens. And that is exactly the focus of ELVITEN.

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