The Best, Biggest, Boldest EV Conference In Brussels


Electric vehicle conferences pop up left and right these days. Which ones should you attend? How about the ones where I’m presenting and moderating panels?

Well, bias and joking (and biased joking) aside, I do have to recommend AEC2018 in Brussels, Belgium, heart of the European Union. As the conference website happily self-promotes, “The AEC2018 is the largest, most influential pan-European e-mobility conference.”

For a little bit of background before moving forward, note that AEC2018 is put on by AVERE, which is The European Association for Electromobility. The organization was founded in 1978. Yes, 1978! That’s way before the days of the GM EV-1, let alone the Tesla Model 3. The organization also has a strong network of national arms — AVERE Belgium in Belgium, BAEPS in Bulgaria, EMF in Finland, AVERE France in France, BSM in Germany, HELIEV in Greece, EA in Hungary, CEI CIVES in Italy, Formule E-TEAM in The Netherlands, Norwegian EV Association in Norway, PSPA in Poland, AVER in Romania, EVA Scotland in Scotland, SEVA in Slovakia, and AEDIVE in Spain.

Additionally, AEC organizes the extremely popular and well respected EVS conferences. I have a special place in my heart for those conferences for two reasons — 1) they are packed full of rigorous research about electric vehicles and 2) an EVS conference in Barcelona is where I lost my “EV virginity,” first driving a BMW i3 and then several other electric cars. It may be no coincidence that I drive a BMW i3 today.

I would say the best pitch for AEC2018 is either in its program (aka programme) or in its speaker lineup. You can click that link to scroll through the program. For a view of the speaker lineup, in alphabetical order by first name (putting me last), you can check out all the mugshots here or I’ll speed things up for you by putting them in a bullet list:

  • ALAIN DE CAT, CEO, Powerdale

  • ALISTER HAMILTON, Director and Chair, EVA Scotland

  • ANDERS BERGER, Director Public Affairs, Volvo

  • ANDERS WALL, Chief International Officer, Green Mobility
  • ANNE-MARIE SPIERINGS, Member of the Provincial Executive, Noord-Brabant Netherlands


  • BAERTE DE BREY, Chief International Officer, ElaadNL

  • BENOIT NEMERY, MD, PhD. – KU Leuven, Department of Public Health and Primary Care

  • BERT WITKAMP, Project Manager EAFO, AVERE

  • BJØRN UTGÅRD, Director of New Markets, EVBox

  • BRAM POETH, CEO, Eneco

  • CHRISTIAN LAMBERT, Managing Director, DriveNow Belgium

  • CHRISTINA BU, Secretary General, Norwegian EV Association

  • CHRISTOPHER BURGHARDT, Managing Director for Europe, ChargePoint

  • DOROTHÉE COUCHARRIÈRE, International Public Affairs Director, Blue Solutions, Bolloré

  • DR. ABAYOMI OTUBUSHIN, Corporate and Governmental Affairs, BMW Group

  • EKATERINA DMITRAKOVA, Business Development Manager, car2go Europe

  • FRANCK RIECK, MSc, Reasearch Professor, Future Mobility, Rotterdam University

  • FRANZ UNTERSTELLER, Minister of the Environment, Climate & Energy Sector, Germany

  • GIORGIA CONCAS, Secretary General, AIE

  • GREET VAN WESEMAEL, Director, EV Consult

  • GREG ARCHER, Director Clean Vehicles, Transport & Environment

  • HARM-JAN IDEMA, Smart Charging Commissioner, Living Lab

  • JAN TYTGAT, Director Government Affairs EU-Benelux, Umicore

  • JOERI DE RIDDER, Owner, Electric Drive bvba


  • JOHN GARTNER, Director, Navigant

  • JON STENNING, Associate Director, Cambridge Econometrics

  • JOSÉ PONTES, Market Analyst, EV Volumes

  • JULIA POLISCANOVA, Clean Vehicles Manager, Transport & Environment

  • KÁTRIN SCHWEREN, Head of Regulatory and Public Affairs, tiko

  • LORENZO GRANDE, Technology Analyst, IDTechEx

  • LOUIS SHAFFER, EMEA Distributed Energy Segment Manager, EATON

  • MACIEJ MAZUR, Managing Director, PSPA

  • MACIEJ WOJENSKI, Vice President, Ekoenergetyka-Polska

  • MAROŠ ŠEFČOVIČ, Vice-President, European Commission

  • MATTI KAHOLA, Senior Analyst, Delta-ee

  • OLEKSIY RYABCHYN, Member of Parliament, Ukraine Parliament

  • OLIVER RISSE, CEO, Floatility

  • PASCAL SMET, Minister for Mobility and Public Works, Brussels-Capital Region

  • PATRICK DANAU, CEO, Audi Brussels Factory

  • PETER BADÍK, Managing Partner, GreenWay

  • PETER KOUROUMBASHEV, MEP (S&D, Bulgaria), European Parliament

  • ROBERT VAN DEN HOED, Lector Energy and Innovation, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

  • ROLAND CRACCO, CEO, Interparking

  • ROLAND STEINMETZ, Director, EV Consult

  • SHOVON GOUTAM, Mechanical Engineer, MOBI-VUB

  • SOPHIE PUNTE, Founder, Smart Freight Centre

  • STEFAN VON DOBSCHÜTZ, CCO eMobility, innogy SE

  • VIOLETA BULC, European Commissioner for Transport, European Commission

  • WILLY TOMBOY, Director of the Industrial Battery Working Group, RECHARGE

  • YUNSHI WANG, Director of China Center for Energy and Transportation, UC Davis

  • ZACHARY SHAHAN, Director, CleanTechnica; President, Important Media

  • As you can see, nearly every giant in the e-mobility space is represented at AEC2018 — from ChargePoint to EVBox to GreenWay to innogy to BMW to Volvo to Audi to EV Volumes to CleanTechnica. Well, true, a Tesla representative isn’t there. I guess I’ll be representing Tesla. 😉

    I’ll also be talking about our fresh new 2018 EV driver report, which is a mega-report on EV driver and potential EV driver requirements, dreams, expectations, and experiences in the early EV market that we will be publishing just before the conference.

    Will you be at the conference? You should be. You better be. And I’ll buy you a coffee if you are and if you read this far.

    About the Author

    Zachary Shahan Zach is tryin’ to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He’s also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada.

    Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don’t jump to conclusions.

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