move – Mobility of the Future

Sustainable mobility means massively reducing the use of fossil energy sources as well as CO2 emissions. One option is to convert surplus, renewable electricity into storable energy carriers that are suitably low in CO2, such as hydrogen or synthetic methane, and can be used as fuels for individual mobility and transport of goods. In move, the demonstrator for future mobility, Empa has teamed up with partners from research, industry and the public sector to show how the mobility of tomorrow might work without fossil energy. Our long-term goal is to close the carbon cycle: The emitted CO2 is "recollected" and converted back into energy carriers.


According to the “New Energy Policy” (NEP) of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), by 2050 almost 50 percent of the mileage in the car sector is to be covered by electric vehicles and at least 50 percent by vehicles with combustion engines.

This should slash the vehicles’ energy consumption as the majority of it stems from renewable sources. For electro-mobility, the priority is the storage of surplus electricity in network or vehicle batteries and its electrolytic conversion into hydrogen for use in fuel cell vehicles. To be used in internal combustion engines, hydrogen is, in a second step, converted into synthetic fuels. The carbon dioxide (CO2) for this chemical conversion is taken from the atmosphere. During driving, CO2 continues to be emitted – but only as much as had previously been extracted from the atmosphere to produce the synthetic fuels in the first place. This means: The carbon cycle is closed no additional CO2 is released into the atmosphere.


move, the demonstrator for future mobility, provides examples to show the entire pathway of using and converting surplus renewable electricity for mobility – in the form of hydrogen and, in later stages, in the form of synthetic methane and network batteries. In the case of hydrogen, its pure use as a fuel for fuel cell vehicles and its use as an admixture to natural/biogas for gas vehicles is investigated.

The vehicles that are used in practice within the scope of various projects are equipped with state-of-the-art powertrain concepts and technologies. Besides the optimization of energy conversion and storage technologies, move should also demonstrate which technology is best suited for which “mobility type”.

Electric vehicles for short and city trips, hydrogen-driven fuel cells for buses and communal vehicles, and gas engines for medium-sized cars and delivery vans.
Christian Bach

Christian Bach
Head of Lab
Automotive Powertrain Technologies

Phone: +41 58 765 4137


«Von erneuerbarem Strom zu sauberem Treibstoff»



SRF Einstein of 23 February 2017 about the «Future without fossil fuels»