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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Henrik Fisker was scheduled to speak regarding the future of e-Mobility at the World Future Energy summit.

Perhaps a transcript will become available online somewhere?

Here is a relevant article from Autocar:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/blogs/autocarconfidential/archive/2011/01/18/day-one-at-the-world-future-energy-summit.aspx



Autocar said:
Day one at the World Future Energy Summit

Mark Tisshaw

Fascinating day in Abu Dhabi yesterday, where some of the biggest names in politics – not to mention the world’s media and several hundred exhibitors from around the world - have gathered for the fourth annual World Future Energy Summit.

It’s perhaps the biggest event you’ve never heard of (I certainly hadn’t before this year) where everyone from multinational oil companies to UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon get together to discuss renewable energy and its implementation in different sectors, include motoring.

This morning’s opening ceremony was predictably packed with crowd-pleasing soundbites; Ki-Moon said the energy sector “must look beyond fossil fuels” and “we need a global clean energy revolution that makes it affordable for all”.

But there were some facts and figures dropped in that highlighted the need for the politicians, delegates and energy companies to stop the talking and start to deliver on infrastructures to support future powertrain technology manufacturers have already developed before the oil wells finally run dry.

Worldwide energy consumption will go up 40 per cent in just 20 years and an investment of 700bn USD will be needed in renewable energy if this demand is to be supported. “Investing in renewable energy shouldn’t be a luxury,” said Ki-Moon. “We already have the technology there – and there is more in the pipeline. Now we need competition in the sectors to attract government incentives and make the technology affordable for all.”

Which is all very nice in theory; summits like this have a tendency to over promise and under deliver. Mercedes this year is the first European manufacturer at the show and is displaying some of its alternatively fuelled cars of the future, many of which could go into production tomorrow if the infrastructure was there to support them.

Hopefully the decision makers at the show will see (and sample) some of Merc’s offerings and realise the car manufacturers have delivered and they have not. I drove the new electric A-class here yesterday and it was as good as the Toyota Prius I drove to the airport in.

Over the next two days there are two highlights in the Summit’s plenary sessions schedule: one will look at the electric vehicle being stuck on the cusp of deployment and the other will plot hydrogen’s future as a fuel. With speakers including Merc’s E-drive chief, Henrik Fisker and the man responsible for creating Amsterdam’s blossoming EV network, some strong answers and well-placed opinions on exactly where the future of alternatively fuelled motoring is heading will emerge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
http://www.autocar.co.uk/blogs/anythinggoes/archive/2011/01/19/the-time-is-now-for-the-electric-car-day-two-of-the-wfes.aspx



Autocar said:
“The time is now for the electric car” - day two of the WFES

Mark Tisshaw

Just when is the electric car going to take off? EVs have dominated the agenda of the motoring press in recent years, so it was good to hear so many different groups whose involvement is key to the electric car’s acceptance singing off the same hymn sheet on the second day of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Speakers included Henrik Fisker, Mercedes future tech boss Herbert Kohler and the man tasked with creating Ireland’s EV network, Paul Mulvaney. All were sure of one thing – that EVs will be accepted – but its total success and its path there are still open to some debate.

It was Fisker who spoke with the most confidence on the future success of the EV. “The time is now for the electric car,” he said. “Higher gas prices, increased environmental awareness and government support have brought the technology to the stage we’re at now.”

“Everyone will see them on the road as the latest technology and no-one is going to want to go back,” he added.


Kohler was clear that much more development was needed on electric motors. “Cost, volume, efficiency, NVH, scalability, power and torque and crucially modularity all need extensive development,” he said.

Perhaps the two greatest themes to emerge from the plenary session was the importance of all stakeholders working together on common technology in areas such as standard charging points and the need for governments to further support the technology with more money and incentives.

“EVs need to find their way into cities through subsidies,” said Hiroshi Ogawa of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. “Then we need to get more charging points and standardisation of the charging technology.”

“Standardisation is a very big problem,” said Mulvaney. “Systems need to work wherever you are. Once all stakeholders work together this will happen.”

But the final word from the session went to the impressive Fisker, who highlighted a problem with EVs that is crucial for their success in city use.

“People live in apartment blocks with no garage. How do these people charge? Charging blocks need to be set-up – people have to be able to charge overnight wherever they live.”


Whether you approved of EVs or not, it was heartening to hear so many of the key stakeholders agree on where EV technology will eventually end up, even if their views differed on how the technology will get there.

What the session lacked was the opposing view as scrutiny – where are the charging points? Just when will the cost come down? Will consumers really give up their freedom of range?

There were lots of answers today – but just as many new questions emerged. Next up is a debate on hydrogen, a technology even more in its infancy but one perhaps with a brighter long-tem future. I’ll let you know how bright, tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/254972/

Autocar said:
EVs to 'take off like iPhones'

Electric, hybrid and range-extender vehicles will become accepted as the industry norm by users in the same way consumers have accepted advancing mobile phone and flat-screen television technology, according to a pioneer of the technology.

Henrik Fisker, the man behind the imminent launch of the luxury range-extender Fisker Karma hybrid saloon, said commentators who dismiss electric cars as expensive should look at advances in other areas of technology as proof that the electric car will soon have its day.

“Look at flat-screen TVs and smartphones,” Fisker told the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi today. “When they first came out, no-one said they’d never catch on as they were too expensive.

“Everyone’s is buying a flat-screen TV and smartphone now and no-one who’s done it is going to go back to the old technology. Sure, an old TV may have just as good a picture as a flat-screen but that didn’t stop them taking off.

“It’s the same with electric cars: if you want one, you will buy one, more people will see them and then everyone will want the latest technology.”

Fisker believes the Karma will take off as “desire delivers the success of any new consumer technology”.

Building on his comparison to flat-screen TVs, Fisker said that technology launched with a price tag of around $20,000 in 1997 but had dropped to around $500 now. The same will happen with electric cars, he believes.

FIsker also described the range-extender technology at the core of his new Karma saloon as “the ultimate freedom”, as it offered emissions-free motoring for most journeys and the luxury of being able to fill up with petrol for longer trips. “Range is equal to freedom,” he said.

“Range-extenders will emerge as the core powertrain in the mid-market and will take off in the next few years,” said Fisker, a sector he said included 5-series-sized saloons.
 
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