Poland on the verge of a transportation revolution

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The development of electromobility was the main topic of this year’s club debate, “Electromobility in Tech City”, which took place on February 21 at the Bristol hotel under the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Energy.

The content-focused part of the debate began with a presentation entitled “Towards zero emission in 2030”, given by Sławomir Wontrucki, CEO of LeasePlan Fleet Management. The speech revolved around the tendencies in global transportation, such as the movement away from diesel or introduction of bans on its use in certain cities, increases in the sales of electric cars and number of charging points, as well as appearance of new factories manufacturing lithium batteries (also in Poland).

The Guest of Honor, Michał Kurtyka, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Energy, gave a speech concerning the Act on Electromobility and the projects implemented as part of the development of the electric vehicle and infrastructure market in Poland.

The meeting was also attended by MP Piotr Cieśliński, Chairman of the Standing Subcommittee for the Development of Smart Cities and Electromobility, who talked about the activity of the subcommittee created less than one year ago. “Today everyone is talking about electromobility and wants to take part in works related to its development. The goal of the subcommittee is to establish legal norms enabling satisfactory and optimal development of smart solutions and to ensure support in the implementation of innovations associated with electromobility” – said Piotr Cieśliński.

The participants of a panel moderated by Prof. Andrzej Kolasa, Dean of the Faculty of Production Engineering, Warsaw University of Technology, talked about the challenges related to the development of zero emission vehicles. “The notions of electromobility and smart city are closely associated with another issue – industry 4.0. Their common denominator is digitization, communication between machines, robots, infrastructure, and humans” – said the moderator when opening the discussion.

Sławomir Wontrucki, CEO of LeasePlan Fleet Management, talked about the solutions which need to be implemented in order for electromobility to develop. “If we are talking about city systems and cars which are both electric and autonomous, multifaceted actions are required, such as the creation of an information network, use of the cloud or big data, and creation of a coherent digital system allowing for effective traffic management” – said the CEO.

Roman Szwed, President of the Management Board of Atende, noticed that in order to have 1 million electric cars on Polish roads by 2025, it is necessary to create dozens of IT systems. They need to be implemented as soon as possible, otherwise it may not be possible to reach the assumed number.

Prof. dr hab. Wojciech Drożdż, Vice President for Innovation and Logistics, Enea Operator, Member of the Supervisory Board of ElectroMobility Poland S.A., pointed out that EU funding is continuously used to develop the infrastructure for charging electric cars in order to reach the level represented by highly developed countries. “What is important for the development of the network is not just technology, but also cooperation between local authorities, who are not always willing to develop such infrastructure” – said Wojciech Drożdż.

Prof. dr hab. inż. Stanisław Radkowski, Dean of the Faculty of Automotive and Construction Machinery, Warsaw University of Technology, emphasized that we do not have enough qualified engineers who could implement adequate infrastructural systems. We need good cooperation between centers associated with the development and support of science as well as partnerships focused mainly on industry and business” – said the professor.

According to dr inż. Andrzej Szałek, New Technology Expert, Toyota Motor Poland, the main barrier preventing electric cars from entering the market in large numbers, as we would expect, is their functionality – reach and charging times. “Unfortunately greater distances will require new technologies” – said the representative of Toyota Motor Poland. Karol Zarajczyk, President of the Management Board of URSUS S.A. was of a different opinion, stressing that we already have the infrastructure enabling quick and efficient charging of cars, allowing them to cover distances similar to traditional vehicles. He also pointed to the great potential of Polish companies associated with the development of electromobility. He brought up a project implemented in cooperation with Enea for the delivery of 47 electric busses for Zielona Góra, constituting the largest single delivery in the entire EU.

Dr Przemysław Zysk, attorney, legal counsel, Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak law firm, referred to the Act on Electromobility and Alternative Fuels and stated that the Polish act is like a “constitution” for electromobility, serving as a strong foundation for development. It not only shapes a path for the development of alternative fuel infrastructure, but also creates instruments stimulating demand. The act contains important elements which eliminate barriers and facilitate investments. He supported his statement with an example – no licenses will be required for the provision of charging services or operation of a charging station. Moreover, no construction permits will be required for public charging stations.

The content-focused part of the event ended in a speech given by Sylwia Koch-Kopyszko, President of the Polish E-Mobility Association, who stated that it will be difficult to compete with global leaders, but with a proper strategy we are able to become a superpower in the area of the so-called specialized transportation. “We are a leader in technological achievements and the development of autonomous cars. This is the market on which we should focus and search for opportunities” – concluded the President of the Association.

Organizer: Executive Club

Professional Partner: Automotive Industry Institute

Honorary Patronage: Ministry of Energy, The National Centre for Research and Development, The Polish Chamber of Commerce for High Technology, The Polish Ecominic Chamber of Electrotechnics, Warsaw University of Technology, Polish E-Mobility Association, “Mobile City” Association

Main Partner: LeasePlan Fleet Management Polska

Partners: Atende, Cigno Consulting, Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak, Toyota Motor Poland

Media Patrons: CEO Magazyn, Magazyn Fleet, Fleet.com.pl, Polish Market, Smart City Blog, multimodalny.pl, Ecoportal.com.pl, Świat OZE, eco-driving.info, Nowoczesny Warsztat, warsztat.pl, Świat Opon, Teraz Środowisko, Instytut Badań Rynku Motoryzacyjnego SAMAR

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