In the early 70's, the first oil shock shook the planet.
The blazing prices of oil barrels were starting to create panic into the households around the world and at the same time, the interest in ecology and the transition to a more rational use fossil resources were blooming.
From this point of view, Professor Maggetto saw electric mobility as an obvious solution to the problems posed by the use of oil in transport. In 1974 he established a research team and created the department specialized in electrical engineering and energy technology – ETEC. Thanks to this department of the VUB, Professor Maggetto and his team, carried out many studies on batteries and recharging systems which helped grow their reputation. Ten years later they managed to set up a trip from Brussels to the symposium of electric vehicles of Paris. It took them 20 hours at a speed of 30km/h but they reached their destination in time for the symposium! This expedition marked their first experiment with fast charging and brought them international exposure. The international cooperative effort that emerged from this experience pushed Professor Maggetto to materialize this cooperation by founding various associations such as AVERE (European Association of Battery Electric Vehicles, Hybrids and Fuel Cell), CITELEC (Association of cities interested in Electric Vehicles) and EPE (European Association for Power Electronics). From then on, the ASBE was created – AVERE Belgian Section bringing together the different actors of the transition:
- Manufacturers of electric bicycles, cars, utility vehicles, trucks, buses, etc.
- Charging infrastructure manufacturers, battery manufacturers, electricity suppliers, spare parts distributors, etc.
- Institutional organizations, leasing companies, recharge card managers, etc.
- Mobility operators: taxis, carpooling companies, etc.
Professor Maggetto's dream was to unite the forces of each country and each specialist to accelerate the transition. The French section focused on collaborating with car manufacturers, the Italian section with the electricity sector, the German section with the solar energy sector, etc. Unfortunately, following his death on February 9th, 2007, the progress of ASBE was massively slowed down until it really stopped in 2008 caused by the disappointment of politicians influenced by the media. In 2010, the invention of the Lithium battery allowed a new wave of interest for electric vehicles and this time the Belgian government was also on board. In the blink of an eye the ASBE was revitalized!
Today, the ASBE, now known as AVERE Belgium, keeps pursuing Professor Maggetto's dream through studies, research projects and international collaborations!