According to the International Energy Agency, the number of people without access to electricity dropped from 860 million in 2018 to 770 million in 2019. In Feb 2021, the Embassy of Sweden, the Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai and the Swedish Institute organized a 42-hour digital Sweden-India Mobility Hackathon: Changing the way we move! The mission of the hackathon was to design, test and execute ideas for the future – with a particular focus on mobility.

Sweden and India joined forces to tackle some important issues regarding safe and sustainable transportation. The event invited participants to collaborate intensively on digital innovations and create functioning solutions to predetermined challenges in categories such as – Lethal accidents in traffic, Safe and sustainable transport, Air pollution/ emissions from traffic sector, Infrastructure for connected vehicle and Sustainable logistics.

Sustainability means smart power generation and smart utilisation of that power. The grid that holds everything together needs to be smart. For example using IoT to access data and machine learning algorithms to process that data to get valuable insights can be powerful in many ways. Power electronics plays an important role in power conversion and stability of the grid with evolving loads.

There is so much amazing work being done in technology. Innovation needs to be given high importance while developing any technology to make an impact on the world. There is an immediate need for integration of this technology and favourable government policies and environment for the technology to be converted into a sustainable solution. For which entrepreneurs also play a key role.

“If we talk about a sustainable future, energy should be free for each and every person. I firmly believe that we can co-exist in this world without damaging the environment. That is for which I strive daily and use my learning and efforts for the betterment of society,” mentions Shrikant Mali, CEO of Enverden Labs, India, and the winner of sustainable future category. The team “Energy for Society” offered Super-Fast Modular Charger and Intelligent Battery Management System for Electric vehicles as the winning solution to ‘Sustainable future.’

Speaking about the innovation, Mali informs, “Free energy for all is the inspiration for our team name ‘Energy for Society’, which was started in 2014; which materialised into ‘Enverden Labs – Changing the world through technology’ the organisation I am leading today. We aspire for a future where no one has to be deprived of energy or electricity to lead a comfortable life.”

The cycle of sustainability depends upon consumption as well as generation and everything in between. Electric and smart vehicles are a principal part of it. This is because electric vehicles (land transportation) is used by the majority of the masses as compared to other forms of travel. “Electric vehicles alone cannot lead to a sustainable future. They have to be complemented with pure energy sources like solar, wind, and other energy sources. Also electric vehicles to be successfully widespread, energy storage developments are imminent. There has been a lot of research going into battery chemistry, materials etc. Research in itself is not sufficient and needs to be directed in the right direction of production for the market. One leading example of battery production is Tesla’s Gigafactory. Where they are producing enough batteries to support Tesla’s projected demand for vehicles in future. To fuel electric vehicles, adoption of battery management systems as well as a strong charging infrastructure is needed, which is why we work on these fronts as well,” adds Mali.

While the winner of ‘Emissions in traffic’ category, Shalini S and her team “Planet Saviours” offered the winning solution to emissions in traffic with “Smart Co2 Calculator for Smart Vehicles, Better Way Forward.” She explains the concept of the winning technology and says, “Transport accounts for 30% of EU’s CO2 emissions, of which 72% is from road transportation. The Co2 emissions are rising above acceptable limits has disastrous consequence on Climate change and all life on earth. Baseline of the solution is “As Fuel Efficiency increases, CO2 Emissions decreases”. If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it. The Smart Co2 Calculator will act as an economic solution to an ecological problem which will give user better insight into energy efficient driving behaviour and fuel consumption. The tool initiates a monetary reward system that enables drivers to engage in eco-driving behaviours and provides motivation for improving fuel efficiency and emission value. It will also provide a monitoring tool for driver accountability as well as insights to incentivize improvements in eco-driving patterns. The calculator also uses statistical modelling to predict  weekly / monthly / yearly fuel consumption and CO2 emission value for divers to keep a track.”