6 mins

All-electric mobility: point of view of Alexandre Corjon

All-electric mobility: point of view of Alexandre Corjon
#electricmobility #decarbonize #transition #energymix

In the automotive market, the shift to electric power is gaining traction, driven by societal and political impetus focused on ecological objectives. The resulting initiatives are being implemented on an international scale, and nowhere more so than in Europe, which has stated its ambition to discontinue sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2035. As a result, the entire French automotive industry is mobilizing in response to this paradigm shift, and OPmobility is working closely alongside its international customers to support them in their efforts.

Will the advent of all-electric mobility actually happen?

In order to decarbonize mobility we need to develop electric solutions.
Alexandre Corjon, Executive VP, Innovation & Software, OPmobility

Should we be moving towards full electric mobility?

A. Corjon: I think we all agree that it’s important to develop electric vehicles, of course! But it’s more nuanced than that: we shouldn’t rely totally on battery-powered electric vehicles, rather we need to seek out the best mix of energy sources and mobility solutions. Hydrogen, for example, is a terrific source of energy. We know how to store and produce it using renewable resources. We believe in the benefits of this form of low-carbon energy, which is why we’re developing our hydrogen-related offering, focusing particularly on new storage solutions.

How is OPmobility approaching the transition to electric mobility?

A. Corjon: For several years now, OPmobility has been defining a strategy for adapting to changes in the automotive industry. Today, that strategy allows us to keep pace with market growth, and demonstrates our ability to respond to the resulting commercial challenges. Electrification is driving changes to our product portfolio. That’s why we’ve created entirely new areas of our business, such as the e-Power activity, to develop a new range of electric vehicle solutions. In parallel, our H2-Power Business Group is actively investing in the hydrogen-based electric mobility development process it began several years ago.

How do you integrate innovation and technology into electric mobility solution development?

A. Corjon: We work on solutions for batteries and software that optimize the performance of objects and associated services. In terms of improving efficiency, we are also developing solutions to optimize fuel cell operation and lifespan. But we don’t do all this work in isolation. We work closely with a community of innovators to research the best solutions as a team. So this involves us in partnerships with startups and laboratories. We can’t rely entirely on in-house development. You have to be curious by looking for solutions in other areas of expertise, and adapting them to automotive constraints.

Can you tell us how OPmobility anticipates, works with and supports alternative mobility options?

A. Corjon: Today, we have the ability to help with every type of vehicle motive energy. Firstly, we make batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles. Next, we produce tanks for conventional fuels, and as alternative fuels emerge, we’ll be able to produce tanks for those as well. In terms of hydrogen, we’ve set ourselves the ambition of becoming the global leader, which is why we’re working on solutions like high-pressure tanks and fuel cells.

How are you working alongside your partners, automakers and others, to succeed in the challenges of electric mobility?

A. Corjon: The transition to electric mobility impacts our business in a number of ways. The first thing to say is that it gives OPmobility the opportunity to evolve its established business. We’re working with automakers to ensure that they are fully aware of how our business and portfolio of solutions are evolving. So we reach out to them and meet them face-to-face to present our innovations and show them all the things we can do to support them. We also have a number of innovative technology projects underway that are jointly financed by automakers.

China has a head start in the mobility sector’s energy transition. How can we understand the gap in technological maturity between China and the European Union?

A. Corjon: There’s no doubt that China has succeeded in developing electric vehicles faster. Batteries and electronic components for EVs have emerged from technologies originally developed for other applications. China has invested heavily in this field, and is determined to use it as a market for their own electronic products. They’ve also expanded their battery production capacity, and their automotive industry has become a model of successful expansion. On the other hand, the Chinese government is determined to make the country a champion of electric vehicles. So given that China’s domestic market is the largest in the world, this determination is an incredibly strong driver of growth. Today, China has more than 200 vehicle brands. All these factors combine to explain its considerable lead over Europe.

What are the next key milestones for OPmobility?

A. Corjon: There are technology shifts that we must be on board with. We’ve already expanded our product portfolio, but we must continue that trend, particularly in areas that complement our Exterior product range, such as electronic sensors and ADAS, which contribute to passenger safety. Software is another focus for development. We created OP’nSoft for the development of all our software products, but we now need to move towards software as a product of its own right. The growing importance of software is driving a more global transformation of mobility, with a shift away from a world focused on products to a world focused on use.


On the same topic, find out the complementary viewpoint from Florent Laroche, Associate Lecturer in Economics at French University, “Lumière Lyon 2” and Transport Economist.

Print issue