Transportation, a cornerstone of modern civilization, is undergoing a remarkable shift. The surge in urbanization and population growth has intensified the strain on transportation systems, leading to congestion, pollution, and increased energy consumption. The traditional reliance on fossil fuels in vehicles has significantly contributed to carbon emissions, prompting a clarion call for change, recognizing the importance of sustainable transportation solutions. As the world struggles with environmental challenges such as global warming and pollution, among others, the need for innovative and eco-friendly mobility options becomes ever more pressing.
In recent years, India has emerged as a trailblazer in the sustainable transportation revolution, focusing strongly on electric vehicles (EVs). The Government’s proactive measures have significantly boosted the EV sector, leading to increased sales and a thriving startup ecosystem. By 2030, the EV two wheeler market is expected to reach 22 Mn units, representing 80% of the overall market. According to Blume EV Primer 2.0 report, EV three wheeler’s new sales are projected to reach 85% penetration, and EV four wheeler sales are set to surpass 900K units by 2030. These investments not only promise sustainability but also hold the potential to reshape the way we move and commute worldwide. This growth potential has positioned the EV sector as an attractive market for investors seeking impact and substantial returns. This has resulted in significant investment in the EV sector, fuelling further innovation and growth and driving India towards greener transportation.
Norway is a northern European country with a small population of 5.4 million people and a large coastline of nearly 29 000 km, including fjords and bays. The country’s sparsely populated areas make it difficult to develop a dense public transport system that connects urban agglomerations across the country. Road transport is therefore by far the most popular mode of transport. In 2021, about two-thirds of new passenger vehicles sold in Norway were fully electric. Norway’s success in promoting electric vehicles has mainly been driven by generous tax incentives, including the exemption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) from the registration tax, VAT and motor fuel taxes, as well as at least a 50% reduction in road taxes, and ferry and parking fees. These fiscal incentives were essential for shifting demand towards ZEVs and increasing their share in the car fleet. Given the success of electric mobility, the government is now working towards building a sustainable vehicle taxation system.
Around the world, countries and organizations are spearheading remarkable initiatives, showcasing the transformative power of efficient and green investments in transportation.
The demand for transportation is expected to soar in the coming decades due to increased population and rising incomes. However, advancements in technology offer a ray of hope. As the world transitions towards lower-carbon electricity sources, the rise of electric vehicles serves as a viable option to curtail emissions from passenger vehicles. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Energy Technology Perspectives report anticipates a significant increase in transport emissions due to heightened demand, but major technological innovations can offset this surge. The report outlines a “Sustainable Development Scenario” that aims for net-zero CO2 emissions from global energy by 2070, showcasing pathways for different elements of the transport sector.
While some sectors could potentially decarbonize within decades using electrification and hydrogen technologies, long-distance road freight, aviation, and shipping remain formidable challenges due to technological limitations. Despite a significant reduction in emissions according to the visualized scenario, these sectors are likely to be the largest contributors to energy-related emissions in 2070. Achieving net-zero emissions for the entire energy sector would necessitate “negative emissions” from other parts of the energy system.
Approximately two-thirds of the emissions reductions come from technologies that are not yet commercially available, making it a formidable task to achieve reduced CO2 emissions in the transport sector over the next half-century.
Despite the challenges and complexities, investing in sustainable urban mobility is a strategic decision. While certain sectors present difficulties in achieving zero emissions, ongoing research and innovation offer hope for the development of viable solutions. Efforts toward sustainable transportation are not just a necessity but a collective investment in a greener, more sustainable world for future generations.
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