Seminars and Transfer Events

Swiss automotive (suppliers) industry report launch

17 January 2019, 13:30, University of Zurich, KOL-F-117

The swiss Center for Automotive Research (swiss CAR), founded in 2005 and part of the Professorship for Technology and Innovation Management at the University of Zurich, conducts empirical research on the Swiss automotive industry. The center tackles research questions that are highly relevant for this industry and maintains close relationships with corresponding stakeholders, giving researchers access to a vast pool of empirical data. In January 2019, swiss CAR published its newest report analyzing the status and trends of the Swiss automotive and suppliers industry. At the launch event, Anja Schulze, head of swiss CAR, highlighted the newest findings of the study. She stressed that today technological development is the dominant theme of the global and Swiss automotive industry. Speakers also included SCCER Mobility members Konstantinos Boulouchos and Christian Bach. The presentation by Konstantinos Boulouchos outlined how research activities of SCCER Mobility contribute to the Swiss Energy Strategy in light of national and international developments. Christian Bach gave details on how a post-fossil mobility system could be shaped and which technologies will be in competition with each other to achieve this. Christian Fischer (Bcomp), Philippe Monnier (WayRay) and a representative from the Swissmem Automotive Section participated with input talks as well. For more details, please refer to media contributions by SRF and NZZ. If you are an SCCER Mobility member and are interested in reading the report, contact Kirsten Oswald until 28 Feb.


Academia-Industry Dialogue: Decarbonizing the freight sector in Switzerland

29 November 2018, 14:30, ETH Zurich, LEE E 308

SCCER Mobility welcomed more than 25 participants to the second Academia-Industry Dialogue. Experts from industry, public offices and academia discussed the main challenges for decarbonizing the freight sector in Switzerland. Invited speakers included:

Men Wirz, Cleantech Specialist, Swiss Federal Office of Energy
Peter Krähenbühl, General Manager, FPT Motorenforschung AG
Christian Köbel, Director Product Management, Bombardier Primove
Georg Weinhofer, Leiter Fachstelle Logistik, Coop
Christian Bauer, Researcher, Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis, PSI
Gil Georges, Group Leader, Energy Systems Group, ETH Zurich

Their short input talks set the stage for the discussion and highlighted new powertrain technologies for trucks, their potentials and environmental assessment, implementation into current business strategies as well as infrastructure requirements. One key challenge that was identified during the following discussion included the lack of an OEM that can supply high numbers of alternative-powered trucks at costs that are comparable to conventional trucks. Along with this, refueling infrastructure is still largely lacking even if such trucks could be supplied. New policies and emission reduction targets could trigger change as has been the case for car e-mobility. There was also a consensus that new technologies should not be in competition, but seen as be part of an integrative solution covering different freight transport purposes. For example, electric vehicles are appropriate for the last-mile of shipments and urban freight, but less suitable for trans-European freight. In the latter case, trucks powered by natural gas, hydrogen or other synthetic fuels may be more appropriate.


Batteries for E-Mobility

1 February 2018, 13:30, ETH Zurich, Audi Max

The BFH-CSEM Energy Storage Research Centre hosted the event “Batteries for E-Mobility” in collaboration with inspire AG, ETH Zurich and SCCER Mobility. It welcomed over 280 participants, showing that this topic is of high interest and draws a large audience. Dr. Martin Stöckli, COO inspire AG, and Prof. Andrea Vezzini, director of the BFH-CSEM Energy Storage Research Centre, moderated the afternoon of talks, presentations and discussion. Six invited guest speakers from i.a. Empa, Fraunhofer Institut IKTS and Swiss Safety Center AG, focused on topics including challenges of the energy transition concerning mobility, state of the art research on lithium ion batteries and well as safety measures and the life cycle assessment of such batteries. Additionally, five companies specialized in batteries and e-mobility highlighted their goals and ambitions in terms of development and optimization of batteries, battery electric vehicles and opportunities for these technologies in the current and future market. A panel discussion concluded the event and the audience had the chance to ask questions to the panel experts.


presentations and more photos (BFH)

presentations and more photos (inspire AG)


SCCER Mobility Seminar: Challenges of Energy-Saving Automatic Train Operation by Maximal Usage of Regenerating Brakes in Japanese Urban Railways

7 December 2017, 4.15 pm at ETH Zürich, LEE D 105

Prof. Takafumi Koseki, Electrical Engineering Dept., University of Tokyo

Prof. Koseki, who started collaborating with Swiss scientists in 1994, shared insights in the field of scheduling and automatic train operation technology to optimize train energy efficiency. In his research effort, energy-saving running profiles are calculated with the goal of keeping the traveling time constant along with maximizing the use of coasting at high speed and power limiting regenerating brakes. If track profiles are complicated, there is no straightforward way to find the energy-saving running profile. To solve this, Prof. Koseki’s group applies mathematical approaches like parametric control-input optimization and dynamic programming. In the presented experimental case study at a linear metro line in Japan, an energy-saving effect of more than 16 % was achieved in 2015. These results and experiences show technical feasibility of the proposed approach and the challenges that need to be solved for further improvement.

program flyer


Autonomous Driving

31 January 2017, 1.30 pm at ETH Zürich, Audi Max

Autonomous driving is a topic of increasing importance for society in general and for the transport industry in particular. Semi-autonomous systems are already on the market and fully automated vehicles will most likely drive on our streets in the forthcoming decades. Driverless vehicles are expected to make private travel more convenient and to lower the cost of freight transport. In addition, due to a more efficient mode of operation autonomous cars or trucks are supposed to make transport and mobility more energy efficient and less carbon intensive. However, an unprecedented increase in road traffic volume may easily neutralize potential efficiency gains. 

Eleven speakers from industry, academia and public administration covered a wide range of topics: cutting-edge academic research in the field of robotics and control algorithms, product development and user experience in pilot tests, or how the introduction of autonomous driving – and the new Mobility-as-a-Service business associated to it –impacts industry and travel behavior. The conference made clear that the automotive industry, as well as the academic community, are investigating and testing the technology considering evolutionary developments (progressive automatization) and revolutionary development (fully automated vehicles) despite the huge uncertainties still associated with the new technologies. Other challenges identified by the speakers include questions of liability and their consequences for the insurance industry, implications for the logistics business, impacts on public transport or how these insecurities affect governmental institutions that eventually have to regulate autonomous driving. The last section addressed implications for the environment, in particular traffic volume, energy demand and CO2 emissions, and revealed a wide range of potential scenarios. It turned out that the degree to which autonomous driving develops hand in hand with increased car or ride sharing will be crucial for the technology's environmental impacts.

The conference attracted a wide interest with over 250 participants from industry, academia and governmental bodies. The event, which was co-organized by SCCER Mobility, is the forth in a series of public symposia hosted by a consortium of researchers at ETH Zürich, Empa, inspire AG and H2energy.


presentations and more photos

SCCER Mobility Seminar: The electric vehicle is here (again) - and why it might stay this time!

24 May 2016, 5.15 pm at ETH Zürich, HG E 5

Prof. Dr. Andrea Vezzini, Bern University of Applied Sciences
Head of the BFH-CSEM Energy Storage Research Center

Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Boulouchos, ETH Zürich
Head of the Aerothermochemistry and Combustion Systems Laboratory

The current momentum in the electrification of the traditional drivetrain in passenger cars as well as the growing number of pure electric driven vehicles fuels hope for a transition towards a more sustainable mobility. Unfortunately, the advent of electric vehicles has been announced before and failed on its promises. We have therefore to ask ourselves what is different this time, especially what progress has been made or can be expected in the near future to justify this new hype? The first presentation will focus on key technological innovations made in the last years as well as what can be expected in the field of electrical machines, power electronics and batteries.
The perspectives for an increasing electrification of the transport sector are influenced by recent technology advancements on hand but also have implications for the supply side of the required electricity. In the second presentation, we will therefore briefly examine systemic implications of transport electrification through battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technologies and possible paths to be taken with an emphasis on Switzerland.

Together with the seminar, the AMZ race cars were exhibited. This exhibition was organized by the ETH Formula Student Project.


SCCER Mobility Seminar: Need for and Patterns of the Adoption of Disruptive Transportation Technologies

17 November 2015, 2.15 pm at ETH Zürich, LEE E 308

Prof. Dr. Andreas W. Schäfer, University College London

This seminar consists of three parts. It starts with an update of the most recent trends in global passenger travel and projects future US mobility levels through 2100 for different scenarios of consumer behavior, technology change, and transport policy. In the absence of radical consumer change, this part concludes a continuous growth in travel demand, especially in air travel. In a next step, the opportunities for and costs of reducing CO2 emissions from passenger aircraft, the fastest growing transport mode, are discussed. Although significant cost-effective fuel burning and CO2 emission reduction potentials are identified, they likely continue to be outpaced by future demand growth. A number of potentially disruptive transportation technologies already exist or may become available in the near future. To better understand the conditions under which they could be adopted on a large scale, the final part of this seminar presents initial results from a study examining the adoption characteristics of past disruptive transportation technologies.

Andreas W. Schäfer is a Professor of Energy and Transport at the UCL Energy Institute, University College London, and a Visiting Professor at the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University. His publications cover the demand for and supply characteristics of energy and transportation systems. In addition to peer review journals, his work was published in popular science magazines, such as Scientific American. He is lead author of “Transportation in a Climate-Constrained World”, MIT Press (June 2009). Prior to joining the UCL Energy Institute, he held appointments at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge, and Stanford University. He holds a MSc in Aerospace Engineering and a PhD in Energy Economics, both from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.  


Academia-Industry Dialogue: Energy Storage on Locomotives and the Railway System

1st October 2015 at ETH Zürich

The first Academia–Industry Dialog has been very successful. All members of Capacity Area A1 (e-mobility batteries) and members of Capacity Area B1 were able to meet the most important representatives of the Swiss railway companies. Visitors even came from abroad (Mannheim, Bombardier) und numerous representatives of SBB were present. The following people have attended the dialogue:

- Christian Gerster, Head of Products & Engineering, Propulsion & Controls at Bombardier Transportation
- Christian Köbel, Director Primove Product Management
- Urs Bikle, Member of the Board at Stadler Rail AG, Bussnang
- Markus Häusermann, Division Manager, Project House at Siemens

The following important results have emerged from the discussion for SCCER Mobility CA A1:

  • Opportunities for energy storage in the track material lie mainly in diesel electric locomotives. Bombardier, in particular, is a pioneer in this field.
  • Autonomous driving is an almost more important subject in railway transportation than on the road. All systems (security) are actually available and the benefit (energy) is quantifiable. SCCER together with SBB could be playing a leading role here.
  • Autonomous driving on the road is a threat to the public transportation business case as the road is getting more and more resource (time) and energy efficient on the one hand and independence in terms of time makes it extremely attractive on the other hand.
  • Energy efficiency and public transportation is also an issue with regard to the provision of energy. Accordingly, losses in the net play a major role. If transportation losses are high, storage, e.g. at the side of the tracks, plays an increasing role. This should be investigated (Weidmann).


participant list

presentations (for SCCER Mobility members only)

Innovation Roadmap Workshop

21 August 2014 and 19 September 2014, ETH Zürich

The goal of the two-day workshop was to define a common vision for SCCER Mobility, develop an overarching roadmap and initiate the discussion between our Capacity Areas.

As a result of the workshop we developed a methodology, launched interesting group discussions and compiled a list of needed interactions between the Capacity Areas. We identified key factors for the success of our Competence Center and draw up a guide of further research effort.

For documentation of the workshop please consult the Intranet (SCCER Mobility members only). For other information please contact
Dr. Gloria Romera, Program Manager at SCCER Mobility:, 044 633 80 06.