"The air quality index in Delhi NCR is 186, which is unhealthy. India is amongst 14 of the most polluted cities in the world and Delhi ranks third or fourth in the list.

"In India, 7% of deaths is due to respiratory problems, and vehicular pollution is the major contributor.

Electric vehicles will constitute a third of new-car sales by 2030. Currently, India penetration is at 4% whereas, as per recent study from MC Kinsey Shanghai is at 19%, Berlin at 13% and Beijing is at 16%.

Mobility is Changing

As electric vehicles (EV) become more affordable, some are predicting that they will constitute almost a third of new-car sales by the end of the next decade. Ride-sharing continues to surge, with estimates that, by 2030, it will account for more than 25% of all miles driven globally, up from 4% today. These changes are just the first hints of what is to come, as we will soon see autonomous vehicles (AV) and commercial fleets of EVs integrated as parts of everyday life. In the future, AVs will also cost significantly less per mile than vehicles with internal combustion engines for personal use – by as much as 40% – and could also reduce congestion and traffic incidents.

A new approach to electrification of transport is required

Electric mobility is widely seen today as a way to improve air quality and meet climate goals, but rarely is it integrated in a comprehensive vision for smarter cities. EVs continue to be associated with traditional ownership and use models, and are still generally considered as just cars: innovative uses and services relating to batteries, or to integration with smart buildings, are ignored, or at least not explored enough. Charging stations are still developed with limited or no consideration for energy issues, or without exploiting a full range of digital technologies, overcomplicating the customer experience. Their locations will also inevitably change as we transition to shared and autonomous mobility.

Electric Vehicles for Smarter Cities: The Future of Energy and Mobility, a report from the World Economic Forum, developed in cooperation with Bain & Company, suggests following three general principles:

1) Take a multi-stakeholder and market-specific approach. The investment and infrastructure required to support electric mobility will vary significantly from one place to another. Any roadmap to electric mobility should be adapted to three main characteristics of the specific market: local infrastructure and design; energy system; and mobility culture and patterns. All relevant stakeholders should be engaged to collectively define a new paradigm for cities that go beyond the today’s industry divisions, in search for complementary municipal, regional and national policies.

2) Prioritize high-use electric vehicles. Electric taxis and public transportation will have a great impact in reducing carbon emissions. These types of vehicles are driven far more than personal-use vehicles, so commercial and public EV fleet development should be encouraged. For example, Schneider Electric and BMW are part of a consortium of companies in Bangkok that is partnering with King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi to encourage the use of electric vehicles across Thailand, initially through car-sharing and a campus-based electric bus.

3) Deploy critical charging infrastructure today while anticipating the mobility transformation. EV charging infrastructure should be developed along highways, at destination points and close to public transportation nodes. This is critical for three reasons: first, to keep pace with current demand. Second, to address a range of anxiety issues by making charging stations accessible, convenient and easy to locate. And, lastly, to promote the adoption of EVs in commercial and private markets.

In Hong Kong, the local government incentivizes EV infrastructure developers by allowing them to integrate Octopus, a popular smart payment system also used to access public transport. This gives EV drivers a convenient and familiar way to purchase energy, and aims to encourage more people to drive EVs by ensuring the availability of a network of public charging stations.

The infrastructure should be deployed in combination with grid edge technologies – such as decentralized generation, storage and smart buildings – and integrated in smart grids, while at the same time offering a digital end-to-end customer experience. This will magnify the benefits of grid edge technologies: increasing reliability, resilience, efficiency, and asset utilization of the overall system; reducing CO2 emissions; creating new services for customers; and creating new jobs.

Shared mobility - New business models are going to emerge

where the drivers and fleet operators of EVs could play as producer-consumers of energy services, such as vehicle-to-everything (V2X) and smart charging. These new energy services will create additional opportunities for revenue sharing between the vehicle owners and the energy suppliers that would reduce the total cost of ownership of the EVs and accelerate their market penetration

The transformations happening in the fields of energy and mobility are inevitable

Influenced by market factors and megatrends that are virtually unstoppable. Their convergence is the opportunity. Businesses have the chance to spearhead it in cities. Policymakers have the power to promote innovation and new ways of thinking in local governments that will make it possible.

On both fronts, the convergence of energy and mobility must be strategic, intentional and guided, if cities and citizens are to receive the maximum benefits.

The energy sector will have to accelerate the path toward a cleaner, more digitalized and decentralized system, yet one that is more connected and customer-centric. Enabling dynamic pricing and creating new roles for network operators by redesigning the regulatory paradigm will be vital to this strategy.

The mobility sector will have the opportunity to develop new business models based on service and sharing models, and the new uses and services associated with EVs as decentralized energy resources.

Urban planners will need the support of energy and mobility-relevant stakeholders to define the optimal location of the publicly accessible charging infrastructure.

All stakeholders will be critical to ensure a seamless customer experience, by supporting the deployment of a flexible, open and multiservice infrastructure.

Ride-hailing industry in India plays a very crucial role in combating climate change

Given its impact on the decreasing air quality, It is extremely important now that the ride-hailing industry should accelerate, adopt, and deploy the use of electric vehicles.

Consulttrans Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a bootstrapped start-up, formed by seasoned professionals from Industry, recently ventured into Managed Mobility space, has ambitious plans to have EVs as part of their overall solutioning and intends to offer 5-10% EVs in the overall fleet mix while offering Managed Mobility Program to its B2B customers over a span of next 6 months.  CT is already been approached by Infrastructure companies and working on its alliances with them and EV partners to establish a strong network and Eco-system to support this new initiative to combat climate change in the country.

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