Thoughts from the Mondial de l’Auto, Paris
Alex Smoker, Principal and Mila Marinkovic, Senior Consultant at Miramar, recently attended Mondial de l’Auto in Paris. One of the world’s biggest expos, it showcases new car innovations and celebrated its 124th anniversary in 2022. It was the must-see event to expand industry expertise and explore key focuses within the automotive industry and exciting development to come over the next few years.
Hopium, the manufacturer of high-end hydrogen-powered vehicles founded by racing driver Oliver Lombard, stood out to us as it is bringing together leading partners and industry experts in fuel cells, automotive engineering and advanced technologies making them a key player in the field of zero emission mobility. Lombard, winner of the 2011 24 Hour of Le Mans competition, and his team used their experience in the race to reflect on new mobility solutions to meet contemporary environmental challenges and the results are impressive.
NAMX has also carved an impressive path with their innovative HUV range which is the world’s first car powered in part by a removable tank system. When combined, all six capsules offer a range of up to 800 kilometres with each capsule taking just 30 seconds to replace.
Another organisation who is ticking the box for efficient refuel time (three to five minutes) and durability solutions (1,000km autonomy) is Symbio who designs, produces and sells hydrogen fuel cells for light to heavy duty vehicles. The organisation is growing fast and to meet the current market requirements it has invested in one of the biggest manufacturing plants of hydrogen fuel cell systems in Europe.
Up until recently the insufficient volume of charging points has caused a lack of confidence from current and prospective EV customers. In a survey from EVA England from 2021, they identified that 94% of EV customers interviewed experienced concern at some point over finding a charge point for their vehicle. It was therefore enlightening to witness at the expo the sizable investment entering the charging infrastructure sector through start-ups and scale up businesses. EVBOX, who produce EV chargers for homes and businesses in the UK, have helped thousands of businesses globally adopt electric mobility and by 2025 they will have delivered one million charging points. Their agile business plan allows them to meet the constantly evolving charging needs.
It was exciting to see how adjoining industry verticals are entering the automotive space and bringing with them their expertise to create unique offerings to grow the sector. Energy provider Engie, who attended the expo, has created a new purpose statement for its organisation bringing together a robust consultative process with the Group’s employees, clients, investors and representatives of civil society with a commitment to tackle the energy and climate challenges facing the world today. Another organisation ABB, is a leading global technology company and has made the perfect fit within the automobile sector pushing the boundaries of technology whilst focusing on sustainability.
With recent concerns over EVs and the approaching 2030 deadline it was enlightening to witness the significant presence of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology from both OEM and suppliers at the Mondial de l‘Auto and the exciting innovations in the pipeline. With quick refuel time and substantial fuel capacity it seems to be a key to success within the sector. Significant investment into the EV charging infrastructure and adjoining industry verticals also provides reassurances to us reaching the net zero target by 2030.