IAA Voices Conference Special: Interview Siemens Smart Infrastructure
Markus Mildner holds an engineering degree in Industrial Engineering and is the CEO of eMobility at Siemens Smart Infrastructure since 2022.
Imagine you're in a time machine and on your way "back to the future." In which year would you like to get off and why?
An interesting question - I wouldn't know which year to set the time machine to. Our world is changing very fast right now. Many things we took for granted just a short time ago are no longer valid. Climate change, the threat of an ongoing pandemic, or political uncertainties, present us with huge challenges. It is up to us to contribute to the solution. Would we have done anything differently in the past with the knowledge we have today? Probably. But what I do know is that I would like to travel back to the year 2035. Because by then, there will be no more (new) combustion engines. At Siemens eMobility, we are working with our products and solutions to improve the charging infrastructure worldwide and thus make sustainable transportation more attractive. I would like to see for myself that we have done it.
If you had one superpower that would help you professionally, what would it be?
I think it's helpful not to have just one superpower. That's why I think it's enormously important to build a diverse team - different people with different superpowers - that brings success and, by the way, is also really fun. That's why we at Siemens eMobility are always looking for smart minds who want to be part of our team.
What trend are you currently following with great interest professionally?
One topic is certainly high-power charging in long-distance trucking, often referred to as "megawatt charging." We started developing corresponding systems some time ago, and are also involved in the so-called HoLa project, in which high-performance charging parks for trucks are being set up and tested in practice along the A2 highway under the leadership of Fraunhofer ISI.
The exciting facts about this: To fully charge a fully electric 40t truck with a battery capacity of 400 - 700 kWh in a period of 45 minutes, a charging power of 550 - 1000 kW is required. In 2018, work began defining a new high-power charging standard that supports charging performance of more than 3 MW.
Another example is inductive charging for electric vehicles. We see this as a growing future market. In addition to making life much easier for drivers, who no longer have to fiddle with cables and plugs, wireless charging is a crucial prerequisite for autonomous mobility. Here, the transmission efficiency of wireless, inductive charging is comparable to plug-based systems.
What is/was the biggest gamechanger for you in the logistics or transportation industry over the past ten years?
In recent years, we have become painfully aware of the vulnerability of supply chains - and our dependence on them. The entire system needs to be rethought. Delivery routes and purchasing processes will change. For transport companies, this means further flexibility, but also more planning effort in fleet management. We already offer digital tools that provide hardware-independent support for fleet management.
What innovation do you currently see internationally as a blueprint on the road to climate neutrality?
It's not a single innovation, but the networking of different technologies and developments. Previously separate sectors, such as mobility, buildings, industry, heating and cooling production, are an intelligently and flexibly connected ecosystem. Electromobility will also play an increasingly important role as part of the system.
What are your hopes for IAA TRANSPORTATION?
According to a study by PwC, trucks caused around 10 percent of global CO2 emissions in 2019, around a third more than passenger car traffic. And freight transport is more likely to increase in the coming years. In short, there is great potential for CO2 savings here. I hope that the IAA Transportation, as an industry get-together, will create even more awareness for this enormously important topic and at the same time, showcase the technologies. We are making significant technical progress in charging technology, and the well-known truck manufacturers are working flat out on solutions for the use of electric drives.
What are you particularly looking forward to at the IAA Conference?
After two years of the pandemic, first of all, the exchange with customers and partners. In addition to good discussions, I'm also hoping for an expansion of our ecosystem. The challenges that affect us all are enormous - you can't do it alone. That's why we work closely with customers and partners. For example, with Daimler Truck, we will also present our charging solutions at their booth.
Markus Mildner holds an engineering degree in Industrial Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin and started his career in a management consultancy. He joined Siemens in the year 2000 and since then held several Executive Management positions in Siemens and in-between at BenQ in Germany, Colombia, and Mexico. From 2016 on he was responsible as General Manager for Siemens Energy Management Division in China. In 2019 he took over the responsibility for global sales at Siemens Smart Infrastructure out of Berlin. Since beginning of 2022 he is the CEO of eMobility at Siemens Smart Infrastructure. Besides several board memberships he is currently also serving as Industrial Advisor to the Low Carbon Institute of the Jiao Tong University of Shanghai and as Chairman of the Infrastructure Group of the German Asia-Pacific Business Association.