Clean Mobility Solutions Learn how to correctly analyse this topic.

Sarah Simon

11 min Read Time | December 24th 2021

Key takeaways

1

The topic addresses the environmental impacts of clean transportation. It captures the technological efforts to transition towards greener transportation, compared to traditional modes of transport (internal combustion engines).

2

Ultimately, the impact of Clean Mobility Solutions lies in the GHG emissions and air pollution that were avoided, as well as requiring less land by using such technology.

3

The solution must be for other businesses and individuals to enjoy. The analysis must avoid remediation, such as solely discussing fuel efficiency.

Executive Summary

Today, many companies are working to provide clean mobility solutions to minimise environmental and social negative impacts. This is in terms of GHG emissions released into the environment, in some instances requiring less land to produce (such as hydrogen fuel cells compared to biofuel or hydropower), and air pollution that affects community health.

This topic addresses how companies are making efforts to transition to cleaner and greener modes of transport. 

It assesses the impact of the products and services in the form of solutions that allow individuals and other businesses to benefit from clean mobility.

The analysis should not solely discuss fuel efficiency, as this is based on remediation, and most companies are working towards 'using less energy or fuel'. 

What is it?

Since the advent of the 20th century, fast and cheaper mobility has largely been possible due to fossil fuels, enabling other technological innovations and leading to increased connectivity and population growth. However, fossil fuel-dependent mobility has exacerbated greenhouse gas emissions, the main fuel of climate disruptions and climate change.

Currently, transportation accounts for 20% of global CO2 emissions. With the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasting transportation demand to double by 2070 as a result of population growth and increased incomes, freeing transportation from GHG emissions becomes paramount.

Carbon emissions not only harm the environment in terms of GHG emissions and other environmental externalities like land degradation but leave people vulnerable to pollution and the health issues associated with that.

To tackle this challenge, the private sector has started to develop and deploy new technologies to decarbonise mobility. Clean mobility solutions include but are not limited to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles, as well as vehicles powered by ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, and propane. It also encompasses the production of new low-emission fuels.


Sources

https://ourworldindata.org/co2-emissions-from-transport
https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/cn/Documents/finance/deloitte-cn-fueling-the-future-of-mobility-en-200101.pdf
https://medium.datadriveninvestor.com/what-is-a-low-carbon-transformation-part-v-transportation-2f453f0f2025
https://www.iea.org/reports/energy-technology-perspectives-2020/technology-needs-in-long-distance-transport
https://dieselnet.com/tech/energy_mobility.php
https://www.twi-global.com/technical-knowledge/faqs/what-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-hydrogen-fuel-cells#:~:text=Hydrogen%20fuel%20cells%20provide%20an,areas%20of%20land%20to%20produce
SDG poster UN emblem PRINT 2020

SDG Choice

The most widely used SDG is 7, but others are also relevant:

SDG 3

SDG 13

SDG 15

Impact assessment

Introduction

The introduction should give the reader the necessary context regarding mobility and the social and environmental impacts.

Make sure to include information about the impacts of carbon emissions, air pollution, and if relevant, land degradation related to mobility and to clearly establish the industry’s role in the problem.

It should aim to answer the following questions:

  • Why is providing clean mobility solutions important?
  • What are the impacts of fossil fuel mobility?
  • How many tonnes of CO2e does the industry emit? Air pollution? Environmental externalities linked to land degradation?

Read more on how to build a strong introduction in this article.

Core Analysis

The development and adoption of clean mobility solutions are simultaneously occurring across different industries.

In your analysis, consider the company’s role in relation to the green mobility solution.

  • Has the company developed a new greener technology to reduce mobility-related emissions?
  • Is the company, on the other hand, adopting these technologies in its core business operations, significantly reliant on the mobility of people and goods?


For companies developing these green mobility solutions, consider:
  • In what ways are the solutions cleaner and greener?
  • How many companies have benefitted from the products or services offered? What is their reach?
  • How many of them are on the market or/and actually rolling on the streets?
  • Have the solutions disrupted industries?
  • How long-lasting or profound are these solutions? Are they permanent or transitional solutions?
  • What is their depth? How profound a change do they make?

Industries for which this approach might be the most appropriate include Automobiles, Industrial Machinery & Goods, Aerospace & Defense, Biofuels, Fuel Cells & Industrial Batteries, Solar Technology & Project Developers

Industries for which the solution is offered to include Air Freight & Logistics, Airlines, Auto Parts, Automobiles, Car Rental & Leasing, Cruise Lines, Marine Transportation, Rail Transportation, Road Transportation

Green mobility solutions for relevant companies include but are not limited to the implementation of cleaner fuels, the rollout of Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and all-electric vehicles, fuel cell, and hydrogen-powered vehicles, development of greener fuels and vehicle parts, and the development of other alternative sources of energy, among others.


How to measure the impact?

The analysis should discuss the following points:

  • The number of companies that benefit from the solution and/or total individuals

  • Its market share

  • Total GHG emissions avoided

  • Total air pollution avoided (SOx, NOx, PM...)

  • Landscape and biodiversity preservation (from using less land to produce) - if relevant

  • Comparison to industry average or the average of three main competitors by using the grams of CO2e emissions per km


Make sure to describe the scale of the impact by taking into account:

1/ The breadth of the impact

  • Is the impact local, national, or global?

  • How many people are concerned? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands?

2/ The depth of the impact

  • Is the life of people concerned deeply affected, or does the issue just marginally impact them?

  • Are the changes brought by the issue profoundly changing society or the planet?

3/ The persistence of the impact

  • How long would the impact described last for? Months? Years? Decades?

  • How reversible is the impact described in the impact analysis? Can it be easily stopped/extended?



The analysis should remain critical and nuanced. What are the downsides?

For instance, replacing internal combustion engines with electric vehicles requires batteries. Lithium batteries come et a cost, from their extraction in mines to their end-of-life.

Another example includes the shorter lifespan of electric scooters and bikes, which will require additional extraction of resources to make new ones, and greater harmful waste.

Charging also requires greater energy, as well as hydrogen extraction, and not all are powered by renewables.


Secondary points

If a company has a significant impact by making a product or service very fuel-efficient (over 50% more efficient), then it can be discussed as a secondary point to the analysis.

To discuss it in your analysis, it should have the potential to drastically reduce mobility-associated emissions. Fuel efficiency measures the distance a vehicle can travel per unit of fuel consumed. Although the most widely used fuel efficiency unit is miles per gallon (mpg), please make sure to translate this unit into the metric system, or kilometers per liter (Km/L).

To convert one into the other, you might find this online converter useful.


Caution: Bear in mind that this topic deals with specific green technologies for mobility that ultimately free mobility from fossil fuel use. It should not discuss Efficient Energy Solutions.

However, this can be included within the 'Environmental Solutions' topic (such as for the Industrial Machinery & Goods industry).


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Step 5: Assess scale and value

Learn how to assess the analysis you are writing or reading.

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