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10 Takeaways from the eMobility Summit

A new mobility ecosystem is emerging in Malta, setting the stage for immense change in the cars we will drive and the transport options available. The opportunity for Malta goes beyond just replacing conventional cars and is seen as potentially the next big economic driver.

1. Malta is throwing its doors wide open for electric vehicle manufacturers and service providers. Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is willing to “make the Maltese Islands the first European state running its cars on electricity”.

2. Gozo is being seen as the ideal micro test-bed to allow companies to prove their concepts before being rolled out on a nation-wide basis, MEP Miriam Dalli highlighted.  

3. Europe wants to be a standard setter and not a follower, Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director General of the European Commission’s environment directorate, said. “We want Europe to be the centre of battery production and research and development. We see this sector as being an economic generator and job creator.”

4. According to BMW Group, Malta is already ahead of the curve in adopting electric vehicles, with 9% of all BMWs sold in Malta in 2018 being electric. The EU average was 7.2%. 

5. For the sceptics who think that e-cars are just a fad: Norway gives us a glimpse of the future, where 40% of all new cars sold today are electric, according to Cristina Bu, Secretary General of the Norwegian EV Association. This gives an indication of how far Malta still has to go.

6. Legislation will play a key role in transforming the mobility sector. It will force car manufacturers to develop cleaner solutions, Roger Atkinson, Founder of Electric Vehicles Outlook, said. Given Malta’s finance, gaming and more recently blockchain endeavours, Malta could well look to bring regulatory innovation to this sector and, more broadly, the circular economy.

7. The transition to new transport modes will be gradual, shifting initially in favour of shared mobility solutions before we will see the mass-adoption of electric cars and eventually autonomous vehicles. 

8. Mobility-as-a-Service will be a big theme going forward, with car manufacturers moving away from just producing and retailing cars. Consumers can look forward to being able to choose subscription-based programmes, where they can pick and choose what type of vehicle they want to drive for that month. 

Silvio Schembri, Malta’s AI and Blockchain Island tsar, believes the island is perfectly placed to take advantage of the rapid innovative and regulatory changes that will be needed for these technologies to go mainstream. 

10. To realise Malta’s e-mobility ambition, Government is already investing 700 million euro in the country’s road and transport network to lay the initial foundations for what they believe will be the next generation infrastructure that can accommodate future technology advances. 

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