The transport industry is moving fast
With climate change and poor air quality affecting us all, the impact travel has on our environment and our health is increasingly under focus. This has led to a revolutionary move to make our cities carbon-neutral which will transform the way people live, work and travel every day.
Trams, metro systems and some trains have been electric for decades. However, for maximum environmental impact, road transport needs to follow. And to make it even more eco-friendly, electricity must be generated using renewable energy .
Electric vehicles (EVs) are part of the solution towards cleaner transport and cities, yet for some cities the emphasis isn't solely on EV use, but on building a sustainable transport system. For example, the “Future of Mobility – urban strategy” focuses on getting people out of their cars and onto public transport . The future of transport in our cities will include greater car sharing and multi-modal travel as well.
Smart cities have been at the forefront of this switch to electric transport. We explore how cities around the world are driving this revolution.
In a recent survey on good air quality, Copenhagen was rated second out of 23 major European cities . This environmentally friendly city wants to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 and will most likely be the first carbon-neutral capital in the world .
Copenhagen's efforts for greener travel include:
- All cars in the municipal fleet are electric or hydrogen-powered. In the city’s climate plan, the target is to achieve a complete transformation to electricity, hydrogen or biofuels
- Copenhagen is one of Europe’s most bustling cycling cities. In 2013, only 29% of transportation was by car, compared to 36% by cycling. The target is for 50% of all commutes to be by bicycle 
- A new metro city ring with 17 new underground stations, expected to carry more than 100 million passengers around the Danish capital annually, getting more commuters out of their cars 
Sales of electric buses are booming and China is leading the way. Electric buses are a key part of the urban transit infrastructure, and the fact they serve routine and fixed routes make them ideal for electrification.
All of Shenzhen's 16,000 buses are now electric. Electric buses emit fewer carbon emissions than diesel buses and this has resulted in reducing CO2 emissions by 48% and cutting other pollutants such as nitrogen oxides .
To keep Shenzhen’s EV fleet running, the city has built around 40,000 charging stations. Shenzhen Bus Company has 180 depots with their own charging facilities installed. One of its major depots can charge around 20 buses at the same time .
Los Angeles, America
Los Angeles has goals to establish a zero carbon grid and zero carbon transportation by 2050 . Their Green New Deal sets impressive targets along its path to carbon neutrality, with plans to:
- Increase EV in the city to 25% by 2025; 80% by 2035; 100% by 2050
- Convert all city fleet vehicles to zero emission where possible by 2028
- Install 400 EV chargers at City buildings, parks and libraries and install 500 additional street light EV chargers 
L.A. also plan to introduce new public transportation routes that aim to increase ridership by 90%, and add 112 electric buses to their fleet to improve connections between regional bus and rail services. Growing the publicly available EV charging infrastructure in L.A. alone is expected to support 1,500 jobs by 2025 .
London is fully committed to introducing sustainable transport modes and tools. One of its innovations is the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) . The UK's low emission vehicle industry is a great success story and source of strength for the UK economy.
The rapid charging network allows faster and more efficient charging of EVs on the move. The government has provided more than 200 rapid charge points across London and are committed to installing 300 by the end of 2020. Sites are on government-owned arterial roads, borough roads, car parks and private land, including Heathrow Airport and multiple Shell service stations .
London's transport innovations include:
- Making London taxis the greenest in the world – new taxis need to be zero-emission and private hire vehicles need to meet tighter requirements
- The Go Ultra Low City scheme – a project that aims to deliver over 1,500 on-street electric charge points for London's residents and car club vehicles by the end of 2020
- LoCITY, an industry-led programme to help the freight and fleet sector lead the way in improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions 
Innovation for a better future
The very nature of EV charging continues to evolve, with technologies emerging that are likely to have a significant impact on the future of smart charging. Projects include charging smart lamp columns, charging pillars and ways to charge at home without off-street parking .
EV deployment at scale will put considerable demand on the UK electricity grid. To prepare for this, BSI is doing ongoing standards development work to link EVs with energy and make EV interactions with the grid 'smarter'. To that effect, the UK government has commissioned BSI to produce standards for smart appliances, including smart EV charge points, in an industry-led process to help business and government scale-up its EV roll-out safely .
Furthermore, a recent Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce’s report has recognized the urgent need for developing standards and codes of practice to enable interoperability and data sharing within the EV sector and the electricity system .
The government is also investing considerably in Connected and Automated Vehicle technologies (CAVs), such as driverless cars. CAVs have the potential to reduce accidents and improve the efficiency of our road networks. BSI is working with government and industry to deliver the standards and best practice needed to accelerate the safe deployment of CAVs. “With many expected to be battery-powered electric vehicles, BSI will play an important role as these technologies converge” explains Nick Fleming, BSI Head of Sector, Transport & Mobility.
Now is the time for the built environment, transport, energy and smart cities industries to pursue innovation and lead the way in this revolution. Defining good practice further encourages increased adoption and value at scale.
Join the electric transport revolution. BSI can help you take the lead.
BSI is recognized worldwide for facilitating new industry guidelines and specifications. We have extensive experience in intelligent transport systems, including communications between vehicles and fixed locations, and strategic frameworks for smart cities.
Our team can work with you to develop guidelines and specifications for electric transport, which can help reduce manufacturing costs, increase productivity and create consistency across your organization.