Sustainable Mobility, Live

Movin'On 2018 is the must-attend international sustainable mobility event. Businesses, institutions and citizens gathered in Montreal this week to work on making passenger and freight transportation more sustainable. It's a chance for Total, gold partner of the event, to reiterate the commitments the company has made to meet the challenges facing us all. Three days dedicated to moving "from ambition to action."

For three days, May 30 through June 1, the city of Montreal in "La belle province," as Quebec is known, was the capital of sustainable mobility. Here are the most compelling positions and conclusions of Movin'On's events within the event.

Opening conference: What if it's really just about being bold?

It was Montreal's second time hosting the world summit on sustainable mobility, aka Movin'On, which had as its theme "From ambition to action." Montreal certainly has lofty sustainable mobility ambitions, articulated by its mayor Valérie Plante. During the opening conference moderated by Joshua L. Schank, chief innovation officer at L.A. County Metro, with Bertrand Piccard of the Solar Impulse Foundation, Jean-Dominique Senard, CEO of Michelin, Movin'On's organizer, Kate White, deputy secretary, Environmental Policy and Housing Coordination at the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), among others, Valérie Plante reminded the audience that her city was innovative, home to multiple universities, creative and economically vibrant. And that since transportation and economic development go hand in hand, her team's role was to recommend mobility options to make the state attractive internationally and position it to be a mobility leader.


For his part, Jean-Dominique Senard, argued for regulations that kept the "playing field" level for mobility stakeholders. He also pointed out that, besides development driver mobility, we must incorporate carbon, the circular economy and other social issues into our planning and actions.

This was seconded by Kate White, who thinks that Americans need to be weaned off their car addiction by experimenting with new mobility options, while enacting regulations to abide by the Paris Agreement, at least in big U.S. cities."

Experiment, yes, but in Bertrand Piccard's view, nothing can or will be done unless it (protecting the environment) is profitable. "We have to be logical, not ecological," he said, noting that change is successful only if users see the benefit and aren't scared off by the burden. "Make people want to change!" he hammered home.

But what if in the end it all comes down to boldness? That was the conclusion on which the opening day of Movin'On 2018 wrapped up. For Montreal's mayor, being bold means not building more roads, but increasing the number of mobility solutions. For Michelin's CEO, it's investing in the circular economy by marketing increasingly recyclable and recycled tires. And for the Californian Deputy Secretary, it's swimming against the dominant cultural tide. It means being bold enough to always approach mobility systemically, by including public health in considerations for example.

And to boldly pioneer, said Bertrand Piccard, himself a trailblazer, in conclusion: "Looking stupid at first and with hindsight doing what was really the only thing to do."

The great pathways to the future of mobility, by Patrick Pouyanné

Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of Total, a Movin'On partner, pointed out that energy and mobility are directly linked. Oil now represents 95 percent of the energy used for transportation, which itself accounts for 50 percent of global energy demand. Noting that there was no shortage of mobility initiatives and that Movin'On was "a great place for start-ups, citizens and institutions to ask the right questions," he said that Total's response was to align with the International Energy Agency's 2 degrees Celsius scenario and carry out its revolution by becoming a multi-energy company.

"We decided that that's where our markets were headed," he said. "Oil is slowly declining and we have to grow gas and power. Energy is a long-horizon industry and we're preparing Total for the next 10 to 15 years."


Patrick Pouyanné also reminded people that there are many ways to innovate. We shouldn't abandon efforts to improve internal combustion engines, which could be still more energy efficient and cut their consumption up to two to three liters per 100 kilometers.

Gas, power and energy efficiency do not make up a complete list of mobility advancements. Total is also working on new fuels through all of its business segments. Examples include second-generation biofuels and hydrogen fueling stations, which still face issues concerning infrastructure funding. "It costs money to have pumps every 150 kilometers of road."

Patrick Pouyanné ended his talk by noting that there can be no sustainable mobility without safety. "Alongside Michelin, we've just signed an agreement to promote road safety among young people. The plan, developed with the support of the Global Road Safety Partnership, aims to reach 100,000 young people in three years. Total and Michelin's respective foundations have decided to jointly allocate €1.5 million to the initiative."

Working Session: Learning from others

Moving from ambition to action also means giving the more than 5,000 unique visitors to Movin'On a chance to share their vision and their contributions to solutions that work. During the event's two-and-a-half days, 45 working sessions, open to all, were held to foster collaboration and gather suggestions.


Total animated two of them. "New Technologies and Energy Combinations for Sustainable Road Freight Transport" aimed to identify which energies could best balance growth in freight transportation and sustainable development. It was led by Agnès Dumesges, vice president, Product Marketing at Total M&S, with expert Philippe China, Technology Intelligence and Powertrain Specialist ‎at the Solaize Research Center CRES, Total and Christophe Haviland, Sales Director Europe Transport Division, XPO Logistics Europe. "Successful Transition Towards Electric Mobility" attempted to pinpoint the key points to consider in transitioning to electric mobility. It was led by Antoine Tournand, Vice President, Retail Network at Total M&S, with Nicolas Paris Electric Vehicle Product Development Manager at Total Spring.

These working sessions — with around 50 participants each — had their share of surprises and unexpected suggestions, which will be detailed in upcoming articles. They certainly lived up to their initial promise: getting all interested stakeholders to work together in the "spirit of COP21," and to brainstorm solutions deployable in the short or medium term.

They also echoed the words of Patrick Pouyanné at Movin'On: "We decided to diversify into gas and power. It creates a lot of opportunities. And we have to learn from others."

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