• de
  • en

mobility move ’24 – successful launch of new e-mobility fair

From 5 to 7 March 2024, mobility move took place at the Estrel Hotel and Congress Centre in Berlin, a well-known VDV electric bus conference that is now being marketed under a new name. With around 1,400 participants and 90 exhibitors, the trade fair was almost fully booked – even though some trade fair participants had to leave early due to the railway strike of DB.

mobility move was organised by VDV-Akademie and FVL (Forum für Verkehr und Logistik).

There were 20 electric vehicles of various sizes on display at the trade fair – including those with fuel cells and autonomous vehicles. And electrification goes hand in hand with the digitalisation of the industry – especially when it comes to ticketing: for the first time, the experts from the “Kontiki” association are organising their conference as part of mobility move. The neutral association of transport companies and associations, public transport authorities, IT, industry and consulting companies has set itself the goal of driving forward the digitalisation of public transport: It focuses on interoperable, standardised and, above all, customer-friendly solutions.

VDV President Ingo Wortmann during the opening of mobility move ’24 I © VDV

At mobility move, everything revolved around networking in road-based public transport on the roads. While the latest technical solutions were presented at the trade fair, numerous contributions on the political and social framework conditions, drive concepts, experience reports, innovations, autonomous driving in public transport, digitalisation, IoT, ticketing and passenger information could be heard in the forum.

“Mobility move stands for a new era of industry-wide exchange, which we need in order to organise technical change and actively meet the challenges in the world of work. Mobility move is the central platform for the industry to discuss the transformation of public transport,” said VDV President Ingo Wortmann at the opening of Mobility Move at the Estrel in Berlin.

There are around 50,000 regular-service buses in use in Germany, of which over 6,000 are either already in regular operation or have been ordered as e-buses. This corresponds to over twelve per cent of emission-free buses. A proportion that is more than three times higher than that of electric cars. Despite this leading role in the area of fleet conversion, there are signs that the market ramp-up is facing challenges, particularly in view of the 2024 federal budget. The promotion of e-buses was a key topic at the e-bus forum on the first day of mobility move.

Daniela Kleckert, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Digital and Transport Affairs and Commissioner for Charging Point Infrastructure I © VDV

According to Nina Schoenian (Greenpeace Germany), this can be achieved through a combination of incentives (push & pull), political pressure and social acceptance. “A successful mobility transition requires a focus on visions, not the status quo,” said Nina Schoenian in her keynote speech.

One visionary goal is the integration of flexible autonomous vehicles into the public transport network. Anjes Tjarks, Senator for Transport and Mobility Transition in Hamburg, spoke about the vision of the Hamburg-Takt in his speech at the Autonomous Driving Forum. The Hanseatic city is planning to introduce 10,000 autonomous vehicles by 2030. This is intended to establish autonomous on-demand transport as a driver of the mobility transition.

A total of 16 e-buses were displayed at the exhibition I © UTM

The vision of the Hamburg-Takt, i.e. accessibility to public mobility services within five minutes both in the city and in the countryside, is to be realised through additional flexible on-demand services.

Another highlight is the Favourite Bus Driver 2024 competition, which focuses on appreciation. The “Favourite Bus Driver 2024” competition was launched on 6 March at mobility move. Lisa Gadomski (VDV Employer Initiative) presented the competition together with the jury members and initiators from the passenger association PRO BAHN, DB Regio and the Federal Association of German Bus Companies. Passengers are invited to show their appreciation on the lieblingsbusfahrerin.de platform by submitting their personal bus stories by 17 May and thus expressing their thanks to the bus drivers.

View of the exhibition I © UTM

At the Personnel Forum, Harald Klaus (DSW21/ VDV Academy) emphasised the four central pillars of personnel recruitment: Integration and inclusion, improving working conditions, lobbying for better funding and shaping the transformation. “Without sufficient staff, neither a mobility turnaround nor economic growth can be achieved,” he emphasised.

Transport expert Katja Diehl poses the question: “Is the shortage of skilled workers a lack of appreciation?” In her presentation, she emphasised the importance of communication at eye level, recognition and praise, development opportunities, empathy and care as well as participation and co-determination. A change of perspective in the corporate culture and at management level towards more appreciation is necessary. It is estimated that Germany needs around 400,000 skilled workers from abroad every year in order to cope with the current shortage of skilled labour.

The next mobility move ’25 will take place in Berlin from 1 to 3 April 2025.

Let’s have a closer look at the exhibited vehicles (please click to enlarge):