Supporting the worldwide transition to electric transportation

June 27, 2022
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  • Electric transportation reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution

The transportation industry is predicted to account for more than 30 percent of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the future, making it the sector with the highest rate of GHG emission growth. In addition, it is a prominent emitter of short-lived climatic pollutants and a major contributor to air pollution.

More than 90 percent of future vehicle growth is anticipated to occur in low- and middle-income nations by 2050, when the global vehicle fleet will have doubled.

To create a cleaner transportation sector, a mix of measures must be applied globally: better-designed cities; safe and comfortable walking and cycling infrastructure; more public transportation; and cleaner and more efficient on-road fleets, including electric vehicles.

In the past two decades, electric vehicles have benefited from substantial technological advancements that have not only cut their costs but also decreased their environmental impact and enhanced their usability. Similarly, public transportation and shared mobility are essential components for effective transportation.

The incorporation of electric vehicles into fleets is frequently the first step in overcoming obstacles and impediments to electric mobility and is crucial to its global expansion.

Low- and middle-income nations must participate in a worldwide shift toward zero-emissions electric transportation if they are to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and stem the growth of air pollution. Together with prominent international organisations and partners from the corporate sector, finance, and academia, UNEP has designed a new global programme to facilitate the transition to electric mobility in low- and middle-income nations around the world.

The Electric Mobility Programme of the UNEP is operational at the national, regional, and international levels:

National rank

At the national level, the Programme and affiliated projects, such as the SOLUTIONS+ project undertaken by the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative, promote the introduction and transition to electric mobility in more than fifty low- and middle-income countries (UEMI).

Regional level

At the regional level, UNEP, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the Centro de Movilidad Sostenible have established four Support and Investment Platforms to establish communities of practise and e-mobility market places in Africa (UNEP), Asia & the Pacific (ADB), Central and Eastern Europe, West Asia and the Middle East (EBRD), and Latin America & the Caribbean (Centro de Movilidad Sostenible) (CMS).

Regional investment and support platforms

The platforms will assist nations and communities across the four global working groups with the transition and acceleration to electric mobility by:

Supporting projects in 50 countries

Regional support and investment programs

  • Developing practise communities to share lessons and best practises
  • Providing a helpdesk for nations and communities eager to implement electric mobility
  • Establishing marketplaces to mobilise capital and connect nations, cities, e-mobility vendors, and financiers.

Global level

The programme advocates for e-mobility objectives and policies on a worldwide scale. Together with the International Energy Agency (IEA), the programme has formed four Global Working Groups to advise on policy and support national projects.

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the European Union, the German Climate Initiative, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the FIA Foundation, and other bilateral donors have collectively given more than USD 70 million to the program's implementation.

The GEF7 Electric Mobility Programme complements the UNEP Global Electric Mobility Programme by assisting 27 nations in speeding their transition to zero-emissions electric mobility.

E mobility projects in focus

Electric two- and three-wheelers

In Africa, Asia, and certain regions of Latin America, the mobility provided by motorbikes and three-wheelers is integral to the transit system. Frequently, these trucks travel daily distances of 100 kilometres or more, transporting passengers and cargo and meeting the mobility requirements of millions of consumers. Nonetheless, these cars are frequently based on obsolete technologies, making them inefficient and polluting. Therefore, the electrification of two- and three-wheeled vehicles represents a considerable opportunity for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants.

The UN Environment Programme is assisting seventeen countries in Africa, South-East Asia, and Latin America to build national roadmaps and perform pilot projects for the adoption of electric two- and three-wheeled vehicles.

Electric Buses

Many low- and middle-income nations continue to experience growing urbanisation. Public mass transportation, including scheduled buses and informal services based on minibuses and midibuses, is essential to urban mobility. Numerous cities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are currently investing in improved transportation systems and infrastructure, which frequently include high-capacity bus lines and bus rapid transit systems (BRT). With an average bus lifespan of 12 years or more, effort is required to avoid future transportation systems from being reliant on obsolete and wasteful bus technology.

Together with its partners, the UN Environment Programme has devised a clean bus fleet programme to assist twenty cities in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean in developing roadmaps and pilot projects for low emission public transport, including the introduction of electric buses.

Light Duty Automobiles

Globally, passenger cars have the greatest potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018, light-duty cars were responsible for about half of all transportation emissions, including those from rail, sea, and aviation. Many of the world's biggest automakers have ambitious plans to release hundreds of new EV models within the next five years. When used in taxi fleets with long yearly driving distances, the total cost of ownership for EVs is significantly less than for conventional vehicles.

Over fifty low- and middle-income countries are being assisted by the programme in implementing fiscal and regulatory policies and programmes to stimulate the introduction and adoption of electric vehicles.

The UNEP Electric Mobility programme will involve a partnership of stakeholders aiming to facilitate the transition to electric vehicles.

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A seasoned Corporate Communications Specialist with over 30 years of experience in both corporations and public relations firms. Strategy, Consulting, and Relationship Management were my focus areas. In the course of her career as a communications specialist, she has helped clients achieve their communication objectives.. She has also operated her own business, which specialised in B2B strategic communications and travel consulting. Other passions travel, writing, and teaching.

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