Innovative, future-driven and trendy – that sums up the run of the micromobility expo which premiered in Hannover, Germany, from 2 to 4 May 2019. Over the course of three action-packed days, the new fair for electric micro-vehicles wrapped up on Saturday. This innovative event was launched by Deutsche Messe in the interest of promoting urban micromobility and showcasing adaptable, environmentally friendly solutions revolving around electric lightweight and micro-vehicles. Over three dozen exhibiting firms showcased their pedelecs and electric skateboards, scooters, cargo bikes, scooters, motorcycles and microcars – vehicles which are all set to change the future of urban transportation. 3,000 visitors made their way to the show for a close look at the latest urban trends. "This response exceeded our expectations. The debut of the micromobility expo was a success," remarked Dr. Andreas Gruchow, member of the Deutsche Messe Managing Board, at the close of the fair. "The combination of exposition, forum and test tracks has borne fruit. The upbeat mood in the pavilions, the strong interest in the specialist presentations and the large crowds on the two test tracks have all underscored the need for this type of event. We will continue to develop the event format, adding new focal points to respond to the growing market and expanding the rate of international participation," he said.
Electric micro-vehicles will soon be a part of the urban landscape in Germany. "The thematic thrust and timing of the micromobility expo came at exactly the right moment, given the current political and social debate on the future of mobility – particularly with regard to metropolitan areas. Small electric vehicles should not only be seen as a replacement for conventional cars with internal combustion engines, but also as a complement to local mass transit. The combination of mass transit and micromobiles will provide an attractive alternative to cars and help reduce urban car traffic," explained Gruchow.
The first two days of the micromobility expo were reserved for specialists. On the third day (Saturday), the gates were also opened to consumers keen on taking advantage of an activity-rich program. In the three pavilions under the EXPO canopy, exhibitors provided insight into the future of mobility, featuring a variety of electric lightweight and micro-vehicles – from pedelecs and electric skateboards to bicycles, cargo bikes, scooters, motorcycles and electric microcars. Solutions for battery charging and transport infrastructures, parking and garage systems, ICT infrastructures, intermodal mobility concepts and sharing systems were also highlighted.
Visitors were also able to try out the microcars for themselves – on two test tracks on the open-air site, with some 100 vehicles available there for testing. The tracks developed into visitor magnets, including first-time users of micromobiles. They were enthusiastic about the range and performance of the mini-vehicles, for which they were able to quickly get up and running after a bit of practice.
Strong interest in conferences and forums
The three-day conference program was also a central networking hub for knowledge transfer and networking. For trade visitors in particular, the program of talks and presentations was at the top of the agenda. The discussions about the redistribution of available traffic space, legal issues and the intelligent connectivity of different means of transportation drew a full house of listeners. One of the highlights at the specialist forum consisted of a panel discussion on the topic "Is Germany Missing the Boat on the Micromobility Trend?", in which members of municipal councils who drive electric cars themselves discussed ways of creating better framework conditions for electric mobility.
"A new type of cultural change is emerging in mobility. The car as a status symbol is waning in importance. It is now time to discuss and implement intelligent solutions to get from A to B as quickly and easily as possible. To make this happen, we need a large variety of micromobiles such as those shown here," stated Sabine Flores, Managing Director of Municipalities in the Hannover Braunschweig Göttingen Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region. "The micromobility expo is the ideal networking platform for specialists and an ideal way to educate people and introduce them to the 'new mobility'."
The annual E.drivers.only meeting of active electric motorists from across northern Germany offered micromobility expo attendees lots of practical tips on the ins and outs of eDriving. Parallel to the meeting, electric mobilists like Rafael de Mestre – the Spanish electric mobility pioneer who drove around the world in an electric car in 80 days – reported on their exciting experiences.
High-caliber attendees and high-quality talks
The micromobility expo offered exhibiting companies excellent opportunities to generate new leads. Exhibitors were highly satisfied with the caliber of tradeshow attendees and the discussions they had with them as well as the overall run of the show. "At the micromobility expo we had an opportunity to network with representatives from micromobility and politics in some highly fruitful discussions. We were delighted to be part of this new and innovative event and look forward to participating again next year," reported John P. Hein, Head of Marketing at flash, LMTS Germany, Berlin.
This was echoed by Jens Ulrich Müller from the Hannover-based E Scooter Shop: "The amount of media attention at the micromobility expo was impressive, and there was a lot of interest shown. In addition to existing business partners, we were able to generate new leads very quickly – all of them of very high caliber and informative. Our talks with numerous attendees, many of whom were immersing themselves in the topic of micromobility for the first time, were also highly productive and an enrichment for our own future work. We are confident that the micromobility expo will quickly establish itself as the leading trade fair for electric micro-vehicles. Next year we already have this trade fair firmly in our sights."
Janik Lipke, co-founder of the Munich-based moovi firm, added: "The micromobility expo exceeded our expectations across the board. This trade fair is representative of the current zeitgeist and is making a valuable contribution to the subject of eMobility in Germany. This has expressed itself tangibly for us, above all through the presence of the media, political representatives and high-caliber trade visitors."