Charging Night 2023

An evening full of ideas: Experts discuss the future of mobility

For the first time, BayWa Mobility Solutions (BMS) and the Forward Concept agency hosted the Charging Night. Experts from the mobility industry and representatives from politics provided important impulses and discussed the pros and cons of new fuels such as Storm, hydrogen, LNG and eFuels.

When it comes to the mobility of the future, there are two big questions on the agenda: First, what fuel do we want to use to get around in the future? In addition to electromobility, hydrogen, LNG and eFuels are currently being hotly debated. Secondly, how do we create a good filling station infrastructure for it? A good 150 guests showed keen interest in these topics and took away important impulses from the five presentations and a subsequent panel discussion.

  • Thomas Glauber during his emphatic presentation on e-mobility on the podium.
    Thomas Glauber, Bavarian State Minister for the Environment and Consumer Protection warned against believing that e-mobility will not win.
  • The picture shows the audience from behind during one of the lectures.
    A good 150 guests came to the first Charging Night. The event served as a platform for exchange and inspiration on the topic of mobility.

"I caution against thinking that e-mobility will not win."

Five important impulses came on the one hand from industry experts and on the other from representatives from politics.

  • Constantin Schwaab, CEO of the charging infrastructure provider Wirelane, drew a picture of a world in disaster mode and showed images of environmental and climate crises. "Despite the problems, I'm optimistic," Schwaab said, "because humanity has always experienced leaps in innovation." With new developments, he said, the planet could be saved.
  • Thorsten Glauber, Bavarian Minister of State for the Environment and Consumer Protection and a trained electrician, spoke emphatically in favour of electromobility. "I warn against believing that e-mobility will not win." If society does not transform itself, it will not master climate change, he said. "That's why we have to focus on renewables to the maximum."
  • Georg Dunkel, Head of the Mobility Department of the City of Munich, showed how Munich is developing into an emission-free city where people enjoy spending time. The city is planning a good 200 mobility points with rental bikes and electric scooters by 2026. He sees the expansion of the charging infrastructure primarily on private property: "The public street space must not be the filling station of the future."
  • Ludwig Hohenlohe, founder of Charging Radar, showed where charging takes place, how much and for how long. Four out of five charging stations work with alternating current. These so-called AC columns already have an average utilisation of 11 percent today, the best AC points have utilisations of up to 70 percent. And the trend is rising sharply. "Charging in Germany is a success story," says Hohenlohe.
  • Tim Beltermann, Head of Sales BMW Germany End Customer Business, drew on how BMW is helping to shape the mobility turnaround. "BMW wants to build the greenest electric car along the entire value chain" Beltermann quoted his CEO. MINI vehicles, for example, will only be available with batteries from 2030. For 2025, Beltermann announces a new class of BMW vehicles with long ranges and a higher proportion of recycled materials.
  • The participants of the panel discussion sit in a semicircle on the stage and are in the middle of the discussion.
    The participants of the panel discussion from left to right: Dr Tobias Brunner, René-Christopher Wollmann, Matthias Maedge, Wulf Schlachter, Michael Haberland and moderator Saskia Naumann.

Pros and cons of the fuels electricity, hydrogen, LNG and eFuels

Five experts lively discussed the fuels of the future under the moderation of Saskia Naumann:

  • Michael Haberland, founder and President of the Auto Club Mobil in Deutschland e.V., advocated eFuels, i.e. synthetic fuels produced from hydrogen and CO2 with the help of green energy - because 48 million cars with combustion engines are still registered in Germany alone.
  • Matthias Maedge, Secretary General of the industry association NGVA, advocated the use of LNG at least in heavy goods transport.
  • LinkedIn Influencer Wulf Schlachter, CEO of DXBe Management, spoke in favour of e-mobility.
  • Hynergy founder Dr Tobias Brunner and René-Christopher Wollmann, CTO of Quantron, spoke in favour of hydrogen - because this fuel helps to store surplus renewable energy.
  • The picture shows a closer section of the panel discussion. Matthias Maedge is speaking into the microphone.
    The debate centred on the pros and cons of different fuels. In the end, the discussants were able to agree on three points.

A festive finale to a successful first Charging Night

In a lively debate pro and contra eFuels, hydrogen or electric drive, the participants agreed on three points:

  • The market must decide which offer is the right one - not politics.
  • Technology openness is crucial - because it is impossible to say for sure how the market will develop.
  • Everyone must be involved - then the journey into the energy future will be successful.

Dr. Marlen Wienert, Member of the Board of Management of BayWa and responsible for the Energy Division, picked up on these three insights in her closing remarks. She pleaded for a "both/and" approach in the fuel market - because the existing business models made the innovations of today and tomorrow possible in the first place.

  • The picture shows the BayWa headquarters at dusk. Through a brightly lit window, the evening celebration of Charging Night can be seen from a distance.
    The first Charging Night was all about the mobility of the future. During the festivities in the evening, the guests had the opportunity for further exchange.