@TfL statistics show that 26% of pedestrian fatalities involve a conventional truck, yet they only account for 4% of road miles. One of the ways we maximise visibility is to place the Volta Zero driver in a low and central position, helping cities feel safer.#electrictruckspic.twitter.com/KQjalDpz4S
Let’s be honest, trucks cause a lot of harm but current infrastructure means we rely on them to deliver both long and short distances. Many companies are looking to replace the reliance on trucks with better trains and more efficient long haul journeys. When trucks get into cities a new challenge arrives which electric trucks are better suited for.
Old school trucks powered by dead dino juice need large engine compartments which block the driver’s view of humanity. New electric models will make our roads safer by literally letting the diver see more.
Electric trucks are a good thing all on their own. But what makes this company’s offerings interesting are that they are specifically focused on safety in urban environments. As Ars Technica explains: “The truck features a central driving position, with a minimum of blind spots, that places the driver at an appropriate height to spot vulnerable road users like cyclists.” Safety isn’t an incidental consideration, either. Volta is foregrounding safety—for people outside the vehicles—in its official marketing, as seen on the company’s Twitter feed.
Politicians and car makers will often tout that the future of sustainable transportation lies in electric vehicles. Let’s be clear: cars won’t save us. In fact, cars are responsible for a lot of death on our streets and for supply chains that cause great harm to the environment. Instead, electric public transportation is where we should put our focus and funding. Should we still replace gas sucking cars with electric, of course. Let’s just be honest with ourselves that single occupant vehicle solutions will not help us in the future.
More cars in cities mean more space taken for parking, less room and more danger for active modes and less efficient public transport. Plugging in a car doesn’t stop it from being a lethal machine or causing congestion.
There is still no clear and sustainable pathway to manage the e-waste generated by EVs. Electric cars are not “green”. They still use tyres which create massive waste streams. Tyre wear produces microplastics thatend up in our waterways and oceans.
Although EVs use regenerative braking, which is better than traditional internal-combustion cars, they still use brake pads when the brakes are applied. Braking generatestoxic dust composed of heavy metalslike mercury, lead, cadmium and chromium. These heavy metals make their way to our streams and rivers, embedding themselves in these waterways forever.
Trains are great for efficiently moving freight long distances and are used the world over. Many regions already have all electric rail systems, but in North America electric adoption hasn’t happened. Historically, this has been due to the installation and maintenance costs for the vast distances of overhead electric wires. Advances in battery technology hopes to change this.
An American company, Wabtec, built and tested their FLXdrive engine last year and found it worked rather well. The engine is built on the same platform as their Diesel engines but runs off of batteries more powerful than a Tesla’s and can regenerate energy with braking.
However, the environmental benefits of rail have been undermined by the heavy reliance upon diesel to fuel freight trains, as well asa widespread preferenceamong businesses to move goods via trucks rather than trains. This is a problem globally beyond the U.S. â€” the International Energy Agencyhas saidthat freight rail is â€œoften neglectedâ€ in climate debates and currently carries only seven per cent of all freight moved around the world.
A greater tonnage of goods is now moved by trucks on roads than by rail, however, and the rail industry hopes action on the climate crisis will prove advantageous to its own prospects. â€œIf we decarbonize all of the locomotives and decrease the number of trucks, we will get to where we need to be,â€ said Gebhardt. Medium and heavy-duty trucks are responsible for about a quarter of all U.S. emissions from transportation,according to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than double the pollution emitted by aircraft.
The implementation of electric busses into public transit fleets continues to grow – and it’s happening too quickly for the oil industry. Obviously the oil industry doesn’t like sustainable energy sources; however, public transit systems do. The efficiency gains of an electric bus fleet are evident and as a result less oil is being consumed. Chinese cities are the quickest at buying up electric busses and as a result the costs of adding these efficient vehicles to a fleet have gone down globally.
For every 1,000 battery-powered buses on the road, about 500 barrels a day of diesel fuel will be displaced from the market, according to BNEF calculations. This year, the volume of fuel buses take off the market may rise 37 percent to 279,000 barrels a day, about as much oil as Greece consumes, according to BNEF.
â€œThis segment is approaching the tipping point,â€ said Colin Mckerracher, head of advanced transport at the London-based research unit of Bloomberg LP. â€œCity governments all over the world are being taken to task over poor urban air quality. This pressure isnâ€™t going away, and electric bus sales are positioned to benefit.â€
Smog and Beijing go hand in hand due to the explosive growth of car ownership and poor environmental management. That’s starting to change. China’s capital city has mandated that when any new taxi hits the street that it has to be electric. This follows their efforts to replace their buses with an all electric fleet, which included putting 100,000 electric busses on the roads. This electrification will make huge strides in better air quality and advancing the electric car market.
All newly added or replaced taxies in the city of Beijing will be converted from gasoline to electricity, according to a draft work program on air pollution control for Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, and surrounding areas in 2017.
This is expected to create a market worth nine billion yuan (1.3 billion US dollars).
One expert says that such plan will not only make great contribution to environmental protection, but will drive the development of the new-energy vehicle industry.