Dr. Dirk Abendroth has been a key player in mobility for many years. He’s been at BMW and was one of the founders of Byton. More recently he held the role of CTO Automotive at Continental. Now he’s joined Team Global as CTO.
It’s a holding company that supports innovative digital, green energy and mobility companies. Team Global’s portfolio includes Volocopter, Bird, Archer and Miles Mobility.
And, if that wasn’t enough, he’s also moving into aviation.
On this week’s Mobility Moments, Abendroth discusses his latest role and his exciting, new start-up.
Describe your current role at Team Global?
As CTO of the holding, I am responsible for all the technology, research and development aspects and support our portfolio of companies from a strategic point of view. In particular I will encourage cross-fertilization between different industries and leverage synergies.
At the same time, I will be announced as CEO of a new aviation start-up that aims to develop a sustainable vertical-take-off aircraft which provides comfortable point-to-point aviation and fills a white spot in the current market. The two positions perfectly complement each other.
What is Team Global’s aim?
Team Global’s all-embracing mission is to make the world a better place through cutting edge technology. The portfolio of Team Global is centered around three main pillars, digital platforms, sustainable mobility and clean abundant energy.
How is it helping start-ups?
I believe that start-ups significantly contribute to our ability to innovate. We support start-ups with funding but also with know-how, networking and our experience to develop strong and independent global companies.
I personally bring to the table a combination of experiences in start-ups and global corporates.
How can Team Global help countries achieve zero emissions?
Team Global has a couple of attack vectors in order to contribute to carbon neutrality. We are fully committed to zero emissions and have structured our activities into 3 pillars: sustainable mobility products, clean abundant energy solutions and digital platforms. Sustainability mobility is self-explanatory, Team Global has invested into several promising players and will extend its engagement significantly in the near future.
Clean abundant energy solutions cover energy generation, storage and distribution. Digital platforms connect the dots and enable us to employ the technology potential efficiently und thus contribute significantly, too.
Example: the solar start-up Enpal is part of our core portfolio and makes solar systems and corresponding installation services accessible to everybody, bridging an existing gap. Supplementary to well established renewable energies, we explore new options, such as nuclear fusion and solid-state battery technology.
To conclude, we build an ecosystem of technologies that provide end-to-end sustainability solution and easy access for anybody – and we believe this will have an impact and make a difference.
What more can you tell us about the new aviation start-up?
I started framing the new company, its mission and product portfolio on July 1st, please allow me to set this up solidly. I will be back with a comprehensive story within 100 days.
As a first glimpse: our first product – the brandshaper – will be a sustainable, vertical take-off and landing aircraft positioned well beyond the familiar airtaxi genre.
What are your hopes for the COP26 summit in November?
The climate crisis took a back seat in public awareness last year because of the pandemic and the climate summit was postponed to November this year. Nevertheless the climate change continues irrespective of the global pandemic. For the summit I expect more ambitious climate protection plans than before – and execution plans that will bring us closer to complying with the Paris Climate Agreement.
Governments must admit to challenging national CO2 reduction plans for 2030 and beyond. We need intelligent and pragmatic solutions and we need to be rethinking our options without blinkers and ideological restrictions.
What will urban mobility look like by 2030?
Mobility will remain a diverse patchwork of different solutions. Multi-modal, micro-mobility will gain more importance, enabled by apps that put us into position to manage this properly. Sustainability – in a broader sense and not limited to vehicle emissions – will become one of the most important aspects of mobility.
Air taxis will gain traction and autonomous driving will become the new normal. Aviation will tend towards a more distributed footprint and conventional airports will be complemented by a distributed infrastructure supporting point-to-point aviation, foremost in cities.