Home2025: Mobility

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In 2010, the global transport sector was responsible for about 19% of global energy supply, of which 96% came from oil and the remainder from biofuels, gas and electricity. But the sector is changing fast.

By 2030, the transport industry is calling for 20% of road vehicles to be electrified – a low carbon transition which could be even faster if new market entrants such as Tesla have their way. And with Google just one example of a major non-transport player actively investing in ‘driverless’ vehicles, we can expect disruption may come sooner than 2030. In fact, Bloomberg predicts we’ll see the mass uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) starting in 2022, when they will reach price parity with their oil-based competition.

But where do homes come in? To anticipate this inevitable transformation, homes must enable not only the electrification of cars in driveways, but increased energy productivity across the entire transport sector – where carbon emissions from shipping in particular are growing fastest.

Between 1990 and 2006, global transport energy use grew at an average of about 1.8% a year for OECD countries, and about 2.8% for non-OECD countries, rising to 4.3% after the millennium. For OECD countries, energy use grew fastest for international aviation, followed by international shipping. For non-OECD countries, international shipping followed by road transport have the fastest growth rates.

Low carbon technologies and infrastructure offer a solution to reduce energy and emissions, as well as improve productivity. As Quebec’s blog shows, where decarbonized electricity supply is amply available, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and vehicle-to-home (V2H) solutions offer a huge opportunity to reduce transport. Further opportunities such as cross-border collaboration on infrastructure, bring co-benefits including building research capability and economic savings.

When these trends converge, we will see rapid shifts in the transport industry. Wide-scale electrification of mobility, increased vehicle automation and connectivity leading to ‘driverless’ vehicles, and well-funded research into alternative fuels are all inevitable.

The energy and emissions savings potential of next generation mobility systems is both vast and transformative. But it will require innovative solutions that are both dynamic and multi-disciplinary.

More contributions coming soon.

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