What role does the transformation of aviation play in the mobility revolution? To what extent can aviation benefit from electric drives? We discussed these and other exciting aviation topics in our interview with Dr. Patrick Nathen, Co-founder & VP Product of Lilium. Lilium wants to transform aerospace and was the first company that introduced an electric vertical take-off and landing jet (eVTOL).
What will happen if we don´t shift our mobility behaviour?
PN: The continued shift of people living in super metropolitan areas will lead to a complete halt of intra- and inter-city mobility. All ground based mobility solutions are fighting symptoms of this shift, but not the problem. This will lead to collateral damages, such as scarcity of fresh water supply, alongside primary effects such as: congested city centers, increased CO2 levels and reduced accessibility to individual mobility solutions.
What do we have to radically invent, improve or change to realize the turnaround in transport policy?
PN: We need to stop investing in solutions that do not serve the bigger purpose of a shift towards new mobility means. The public, politicians and innovators need to sit together and define bold, new approaches to enable a change. In Munich we have the catastrophic example of the “2. Stammstrecke” (part of the extension of public transport), which does not solve a problem at all, is not accepted by the public and costs already more than twice the anticipated price.
What is the most hyped buzzword in terms of mobility which has in your opinion no impact on the real issues of mobility?
PN: It is the term “micromobility”.
Let’s now take a look at the future of mobility. What will be the most important thing in 10 years from now about “mobility” that comes to your mind?
PN: Mobility will be a key enabler to actually make cities worth living.
What do you think which technology will play a big role – if not the biggest role – in shaping the future of mobility?
PN: I believe it will be sustainable, de-centralized energy grids.
What is the greatest mobility challenge for Lilium and for your sector industry these days?
PN: Unwillingness to invest resources – time, money, people – to drive a transformative paradigm change in aviation. It took start-ups to focus on the need for e-aviation!
Which mobility best cases particularly impress you and why?
PN: Copenhagen, as the political decisions made are based on truly listening to the people.
Legal requirements, money, ideas, skills – what is needed the most in the aviation sector in terms of future mobility and why?
PN: Money and talent. Hardware start-ups in Germany are un-welcomed investments which lead to a degradation of ideas and talent acquisition.