The issue of mobility is central to the process of working towards a more sustainable energy model. The fact is that transporting people and goods demands huge quantities of energy and results in significant atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases. In Europe, for example, 30% of all CO2 emissions are the result of road transportation. Two things are required to reduce these numbers: a change in mobility habits and advances in technology.
Let's change our mobility habits!
Cycling, walking, car sharing, car pooling, public transportation... there are many different ways of traveling more 'sustainably'. By choosing to use clean transportation options (active mobility) or by reducing the environmental impact of your journey (sharing cars), consumers can play an active role in the energy transition. But the consumer is not alone in taking this route, because local authorities and companies are also committed to green mobility.
Take Nantes, for example, where the city's 91 tram sets are powered by ENGIE Energie France using clean, totally renewable power generated from hydroelectric plants on the River Rhône and the lakes of south-western France. This initiative alone reduces overall CO2 emissions by 5,600 metric tons every three years! At company level, the Point P construction materials group is leading the way by running all its vehicles on VNG to reduce its environmental footprint.
Move in Pure®: the electric adventure of Greater Lyon
Launched by the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR), the Move in Pure® project aims to use energy from renewable sources to recharge electric vehicle batteries. The battery charging process is managed by a remotely controlled system embedded in the vehicle, so the user is always supplied by the same power provider, regardless of the vehicle's geographic location and the power supply network used.
CNR generates only low-carbon, renewable energy from hydroelectric power plants, wind farms and solar farms. Attracted and persuaded by the concept, the Gretare Lyon urban is now working with CNR to fuel vehicles in the city which are product by the wind, sun and water. The vehicles have been developped by BMW and are completely electric.
Attracted and persuaded by this concept, the Gretare Lyon urban authority is now working with CNR to run its entire fleet of electric vehicles using Move in Pure®, and has opted for remote management of the battery charging process. All the vehicles offered under the Bluely car pool scheme implemented in conjunction with Bolloré are also powered by green energy.
Advances in technology: tomorrow's vehicles and fuels
As part of making mobility greener and more sustainable, advances and innovation in vehicle and fuel technology are crucial. How can we ever cut pollution if our cars continue to use the same engines and gasoline fuel? There are now many different types of clean vehicle available, and all of them offer serious alternative solutions to vehicles using traditional fuels:
- Electric vehicles. Whether hybrid or 100% electric, these vehicles are powered by onboard batteries. In Europe, annual sales are expected to grow exponentially to some 2 million vehicles by 2020. The main problem with this technology is the limited range offered by today's batteries, which currently restrict drivers of 100% electric vehicles to 250 miles at best. But in terms of emissions, the impact is substantial, since an exclusively electric vehicle emits 0g of CO2 per mile.
CarPlug from Electrabel: a smart all-electric and hybrid vehicle charging service for private owners and companies
CarPlug from Electrabel is a complete solution offered to private car owners and companies in Belgium to recharge their electric and hybrid vehicles safely, with full management of the charging process. With CarPlug from Electrabel, companies can now implement their sustainable mobility plans much more easily. In practical terms, CarPlug from Electrabel doesn't stop with simply supplying power to the vehicle, but also monitors its energy consumption and provides remote control of the charging process.
- Gas-powered vehicles. Some buses and trucks now run on 100% gas, whereas cars and commercial vehicles tend to use the dual fuel option of gasoline and gas. Gas fuel (VNG, biomethane or Hythane®) offers a maximum range of between 250 and 500 miles, depending on the type of vehicle (trucks, buses, cars, etc.) and reduces CO2 emissions, compared with gasoline engines. The reduction can be as much as 95% with biomethane as the fuel! There are now 18 million VNG-powered vehicles worldwide. That figure is expected to grow to 65 million by 2030.
- Fuel cells.This promising technology is used either in its own right or to extend the range of electric vehicles by using pure hydrogen. It can also be used in conjunction with natural gas powered vehicles.
In Dunkerque, the bus fleet is switching to Hythane®
Zero particulate emissions: that's the goal the city of Dunkerque has set for its urban transit network by introducing the GRHYD Project coordinated by ENGIE. By recovering the surplus power generated by wind farms, converting it to hydrogen by electrolysis and blending it with natural gas, the city has the ability to power its bus fleet using a new clean fuel called Hythane. Not only does it reduce environmental impact,but the concept also avoids waste by enabling existing energy to be recycled.