E-mobility: developments beyond the automotive industry

E-mobility has been a much-discussed topic for many years. For good reasons as developments concerning the topic “e” offer high values for us and our environment. Energy efficiency. CO2 reduction. Resource conservation. Cost efficiency. But: Who is actually involved in this development? How do opportunities look like? Which sectors and markets are affected by e-mobility? In our spotlight “mission e“, we would like to give some insights how e-mobility is entering different markets.

Whenever we think about e-mobility, we automatically have automobiles in mind. But it is much more than this: e-bikes, e-busses, e-vans through to e-racing cars or e-planes. New innovative services, apps, charging technologies, infrastructure and new business models – that’s what we from EARLY BRANDS identify in our worldwide scouting day by day – cross-market and cross-industry.

It is clear as water that the automotive industry feels the disruption potential of e-mobility at the forefront. Automobiles need to meet new requirements. New technologies and materials need to be explored and realized in entirely new cars. A big challenge for manufacturers and suppliers: e-engines require new competencies, knowledge and knowhow beyond petrol and diesel. Chemical and electronic industries have high experience-based advantages. Startups and tech companies far from big players can enter the market easily.

We all know: mobility will change. New growth markets concerning “e” will arise. Innovative startups, tech companies and new market players will turn the corner with fresh ideas and new business models – turning many different sectors upside down.

Thus, companies move closer together – cooperation and coopetition can be observed in many different cases. Competencies are combined. Knowhow is multiplicated. Innovative solutions for future mobility are developed jointly. Cooperation like BMW and Toyota or VW and Ford are only two of many examples for that. Who knows – maybe also Mr. Zetsche and Mr. Musk will combine their strengths to develop new e-vans soon…

That’s not only because of the changing engine of our cars but also because of our changing driving habits. Automobiles are still an important means of transport. But more and more we seek flexible mobility solutions and want to easily switch between appropriate vehicles. Become multi-mobile. Convenient and customized to specific situations. Thus, it would be perfect, if public means of transport cooperate with different mobility services. Find, select and pay for the right transport and mobility services in one App like Wegfinder. Always adapted to our needs, easy to handle. So that we get enabled to switch between hydrogen-trains, e-bikes, e-taxis or e-car-sharing. E-Mobility-as-a-service flexible, comfortable and always fitting our requirements.

Thus, many questions raise: How does the future of the 6.900 German car dealers look like? As e-engines are less complex and do not need high maintenance? As many valuable services are not applied? As we are not willing to own but only to use mobility? What happens to classic rent-a-car businesses when we prefer to use car-sharing like Drive? When we are able to rent private cars thanks to services like Drivy? Do we still need public busses and trains when we comfortably use e-mobility on demand via apps and services like Moia? Are we still willing to use taxi services when we are faster and more sustainable with e-water-taxis? When we easily cruise through the city by emmi ? E-sharing is also a hot topic for corporates: share e-fleets with partners, employees or b2b-contacts. Utilize your fleet to capacity. Reduce cost and save the environment. Concepts like Shared E-Fleet make clear that sharing your e-fleet with others make contributions for a common sustainable future.

When we talk about e-mobility, infrastructure is a key topic. Lack of charging infrastructure influences the hype. Short ranges have a huge impact on e-mobility buying decisions. But: we see lots of great developments relating charging technologies and infrastructure. A few examples: ebee has the idea to use electricity of street lights for charging stations. Telekom uses worn-out telephone stations to create a better charging infrastructure. Another great idea also here: P2P-platforms. Simply share your charging station at home with others via app – support better infrastructure and earn money. Such as blockchain-based P2P-platform Share & Charge. In doing so, generate your own electricity by solar cells.  Or by biogas from your local farmer. Commonly drive e-mobility and sustainability forward.

As electricity distributor, better watch out, now. Jump on the e-mobility train. Commonly create and shape new ideas with startups and tech companies. Push better charging infrastructure and services concerning sustainable energy and e-mobility. Do not allow others to overtake and put the pedal on the metal. So that you keep your big player position for the next years. Already today, telecommunication provider, hotels and food service industries enter the e-mobility market. By providing charging infrastructure and own accounting models. And that is not it: first startups offer mobile charging stations. So that charging becomes time- and location-independent. High added value combined with sustainable energy sources. Ideas to facilitate charging of e-cars and to improve infrastructure are varied: from Ionitys ultra-fast charger, Tesla’s Metal Snake, inductive chargers through to whole charging streets. It becomes clear: charging technologies and infrastructure is more than just energy…


Besides automobiles and charging technologies, also new innovative services concerning e-mobility arise. Charge your battery at any station and easily pay by app with a single account? Thanks to Plugsurfing this idea becomes reality. As the “PayPal of e-mobility“, flexible use of any charging station is enabled – throughout Europe. Searching, charging and paying within one app – high competition for today’s payment companies. Also, Wirecard and Wirelane combine their competencies and develop payment solutions throughout Europe without any barriers. Thus, also IT companies with regard to data security become more and more important for e-mobility businesses. Data integrity matters: from debit cards or apps to mobile paying services – safety first not only when driving but also when charging a car.

In a nutshell: e-mobility is entering many different sectors and markets. New business models, services and products are grown. This EARLY BRANDS insight is only a short one – as developments relating to e-mobility are fast and getting faster. In our Innovation & Technology Scouting, we see new e-mobility impulses day by day – from battery and charging technologies to mobility and transport innovations through to new services and business models. Stay tuned. Co-create green mobility – no matter if you are automotive, consumer good or technology company.


Catch the Future…!