Sustainable Mobility – Numerous Possibilities

Sustainable Mobility

Mobility affects us all, it involves individual freedom and quality of life. Nowadays, there are many different ways to cover short or long distances – whether privately or professionally. When we choose an option; whether is on foot, by bicycle, moped, e-scooter, car or by public transport:, we rarely think about the impact it has on our environment and also on our health.

Around the topic of climate protection and the sustainability goals of the European Union, the term “sustainable mobility” comes up again and again. The question at the heart of this is: How can the mobility of people and goods be maintained and safeguarded without traffic putting too much strain on people and the environment in the long term?

According to the Global New Mobility Coalition (GNMC), there is the “proposal to increase the bloc’s 2030 climate target to “at least 55 percent” within the Green Deal. ” With its “Strategy for a Climate Neutral Europe,” the European Commission has also set itself the goal of decarbonizing the European mobility system by 2050, i.e., making it greenhouse gas neutral.”

What is sustainable mobility?

Sustainable mobility has various goals and includes different measures to reduce CO2 emissions – such as car sharing, the expansion of public transport and the principle of short distances. A more efficient use of (already existing) means of transport, especially in motorized individual transport, is the focus here. The digital automation and networking of vehicles and the further development of alternative drives such as battery and fuel cells also play a central role.

What types of sustainable mobility are there?

Depending on which goal is in focus, different mobility concepts can be used, each of which is sustainable in its own way. A good alternative to driving one’s own car is to use public transportation. But also the use of shared mobility offers an excellent alternative. In addition to car sharing, this also includes bike sharing, moped sharing and the sharing of cargo bikes. Shared mobility concepts are now included in the planning of new residential neighborhoods, because in combination with affordable and sustainable mobility offers, they can help to achieve sustainability goals. In the Netherlands and Germany, WeGo successfully supports precisely these projects.

To maintain familiar mobility, another approach is to choose alternative drives and new technologies. Cars with electric motors or hydrogen drives, in particular, are very much in vogue at the moment. Since they do not produce any exhaust gases that are harmful to the environment and health, they are thus a sustainable alternative to vehicles with combustion engines.

Why sustainable mobility is important

Mobility is a valuable commodity in our society. Not only for the private sphere, but also for the many commuters who have to cover many kilometers every day to get to their workplaces. Sustainable solutions must be found for commuter traffic in particular, as these journeys cannot simply be avoided. In order to save valuable resources and avoid environmental pollution, a well-functioning spatial structure and a sustainable transport offer are absolutely necessary.

By optimizing public transport, expanding cycling and walking through better infrastructure, and using cars more intelligently, an urban traffic turnaround can be implemented.

Traffic turnaround supported by sharing models

A combination of different means of transport supports the mobility of tomorrow. Sharing models are becoming increasingly important in this context. Sharing vehicles of all kinds – cars, bicycles, mopeds and e-scooters – enables individual everyday mobility without having to own a car.

The fact that the sharing trend is catching on can be seen in the development of new residential areas. Building societies are increasingly offering their tenants sharing models – mostly cars and bicycles that can only be used by authorized neighborhood residents.

By providing such community sharing services, for example, the purchase of a second car can be avoided. Everyday mobility is thus available to all residents – and in an environmentally friendly way. Environmentally friendly, since mostly E-vehicles are provided. Inexpensive, since the user of the mobility service only pays for the actual use of the vehicle – acquisition and maintenance costs are completely eliminated.

Companies are also increasingly discovering mobility sharing concepts and implementing company cars or pool vehicles in their fleets. This mobility concept, also known as corporate carsharing, grants the internal company sharing of vehicles available in the fleet. These vehicles can be booked flexibly by several employees for private trips – after working hours and also on weekends. This sharing model also contributes to sustainable mobility and ultimately to the traffic turnaround.

Another sharing model that is just catching on in cities and towns in the Netherlands: Sharing delivery vehicles in emission-free inner-city zones. Instead of purchasing their own e-delivery vehicle, entrepreneurs or business owners rent a vehicle from mobility providers, depending on their needs. Acquisition costs are eliminated; emission-free urban logistics are a given. This sharing model also contributes to sustainable mobility and ultimately to the traffic turnaround.

Another sharing model that is just catching on in cities and towns in the Netherlands: Sharing delivery vehicles in zero-emission city centres. Instead of purchasing their own e-delivery vehicle, entrepreneurs or business owners rent a vehicle from mobility providers, depending on their needs. This enables zero-emission city logistics, without large investments. This sharing model also contributes to sustainable mobility and ultimately to the transport revolution.

The best reasons for sustainable mobility in summary

  • Climate protection: 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by traffic. In order to drastically reduce this environmentally harmful amount, sustainable mobility concepts must be created.
  • Air pollution: At the first WHO global conference on air pollution and health, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called air pollution a “silent health crisis.” Some 7 million premature deaths each year are caused by air pollution, 4 million of which are due to outdoor air pollution.
  • Noise protection: The volume of traffic is huge, especially in conurbations and along major roads. A high volume of traffic means noise, and noise entails a health risk that should not be underestimated. According to the Federal Environment Agency, a significant reduction in road noise can only be achieved through a variety of different measures. On the one hand, by avoiding traffic – for example, by switching to public transportation and imposing a general speed limit. On the other hand, with technical measures, such as quieter vehicles (e-cars) and road surfaces.
  • Quality of life: Less (motorized) traffic usually means more quality of stay in public spaces, more cohesion, less noise and better air. Especially in (big) cities and metropolitan areas, the quality of life suffers a lot from heavy traffic. For a livable city, car traffic should be reduced.
  • Preservation of green spaces: Trees, shrubs, hedges and flowers make a city more attractive and livable. Less individual traffic means less need for parking spaces, for example. This means that existing green spaces can be preserved or new ones created – both of which help to improve the residential environment and thus optimize the quality of air and life. 

What are the current problems?

“Sustainable transport needs a mix of measures, as individual measures cannot have the necessary effect. The vehicle and its drive technology must not be the sole focus. Only an integrated approach, including non-technical measures, can achieve the climate protection targets that have been set. What is needed above all are economic incentives aimed at changing behavior and settlement and transport planning that focuses on traffic avoidance and environmentally friendly modes of transport,” says the Federal Environment Agency.

European Mobility Week 2022

The EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK offers a good opportunity for citizens to get to grips with sustainable mobility and try out the numerous options available.

The EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK is a campaign of the European Commission. It takes place every year from September 16 – 22. Since 2002, it has offered municipalities from all over Europe the perfect opportunity to introduce their citizens to the full range of sustainable mobility on the ground. Every year, always from September 16 to 22, innovative transport solutions are tried out or creative ideas are used to promote sustainable mobility in the municipalities as part of the EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK: For example, parking spaces and road space are converted, new footpaths and cycle paths are inaugurated, electric vehicles are tested, school competitions are launched and campaigns for more climate protection in transport are carried out. In this way, municipalities and their citizens show that sustainable mobility is possible, fun and can be lived out in practice.

Creating more sustainable mobility with the WeGo platform

The negative impact of mobility can be reduced by traveling less, replacing polluting vehicles with zero-emission vehicles, reducing the total number of vehicles used, and using existing vehicles more efficiently. WeGo’s booking and sharing platform can be used to implement the last two points. The platform enables the sharing of vehicles, which leads to higher utilization. Thus, the same level of mobility can be realized with fewer vehicles or more mobility with the current number of vehicles. For this reason, shared mobility is a sustainable form of mobility, especially in combination with electric vehicles.

Want to learn more?

Contact us and we will be happy to inform you about the possibilities and benefits of shared mobility!

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Source: Zero Emission Area Handbook — Global New Mobility Coalition

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