The pros and cons of electromobility

July 17, 2019 by  
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To those of us who concentrate on sustainability and green options for travel, electromobility appears to be a godsend — but the increasingly popular electromobility lifestyle still holds good and bad traits. Thankfully, as the market continues to grow, electric vehicles such as e-bikes and scooters only continue to improve since they were first introduced, and electric cars continue to get more and more sophisticated and efficient each year. While there are obvious benefits to using or even owning one of these trendy vehicles, the electromobility industry still has some kinks to work out. Here are the pros and cons to consider before embracing electromobility. Pro: less utilization of fossil fuels Though the extraction of different kinds of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) present different levels and types of impact on the environment, they all have one thing in common: emitting harmful pollutants and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned. These pollutants can include sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides that contribute to acid rain, smog and soot. While the burning of fossil fuels poses serious issues, it doesn’t stop there. The only ways to extract these fossil fuels from the Earth is by mining or drilling, and both have the potential to generate significant air and water pollution , inflict serious health issues to workers or the local community and alter ecosystems. Offshore drilling poses risks of oil spills that can absolutely devastate ocean life. As the transportation sector as a whole relies almost exclusively on fossil fuels, it is responsible for a majority of the hidden environmental costs that the fossil fuel industry implements on the Earth. According to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy , “In general, EVs produce fewer emissions that contribute to climate change and smog than conventional vehicles … EVs typically produce fewer life cycle emissions [emissions from vehicles over the course of its life from production to disposal] than conventional vehicles, because most emissions are lower for electricity generation than burning gasoline or diesel.” Con: batteries Replacing harmful fossil fuels with electric vehicle batteries comes at a cost. Producing these large lithium batteries requires natural resources from lithium and nickel mines, which can emit pollutants such as sulfur dioxide into the air and pose health risks to workers. Most batteries, especially in smaller EVs like scooters and e-bikes, have a limited lifespan. After disposal, batteries can end up in landfills to release toxins into the environment or in the ocean to harm sea life. Related: We love electric scooters — but is the Bird trend actually bad for the environment? Pro: improved air quality The potential to dramatically improve air quality is arguably the biggest draw for electromobility from an environmental perspective. The lack of exhaust systems in electric vehicles means less carbon dioxide emissions and less greenhouse gas buildup in our atmosphere. According to the U.N. , air pollution causes 1 in 9 deaths around the world and, “Transport contributes approximately one quarter of all energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, which is set to reach one-third, growing faster than any other sector.” The majority of car growth in the world is expected to take place in developing countries, most of which don’t have any type of vehicle emissions standards or programs incentivizing low-emission transportation. U.N. Environment is working to sponsor 50 countries and cities around the world to introduce electric cars and electric methods of public transportation. Con: energy use Even though electric vehicles don’t emit as much carbon dioxide, the batteries still need to be recharged regularly. As the demand for electric modes of transportation grows, so does the need for energy — and not all energy comes from renewable sources. For this reason, many owners of electric cars opt to install solar panels onto their homes to charge the vehicles from inside their garages at a much lower cost both financially and to the environment. Pro: decreased expenses Just the knowledge alone that their vehicle is better for the environment is enough for some consumers when it comes to purchasing an electric car, scooter or bike, but the reasons to make the investment into electromobility go far beyond peace of mind. A 2018 study from the University of Michigan revealed that in no U.S. state is it cheaper to use gasoline than electricity. Operating an EV in the United States, according to the study, was $485 per year, while the cost for operating a gas-powered car was $1,117. That means on average, gasoline-powered vehicles cost twice as much as electric ones. Because EVs don’t require oil either, oil changes aren’t necessary, meaning maintenance time and cost is significantly reduced as well. If all that still doesn’t convince you, some EV owners are eligible for a tax break as high as $7,500 depending on the individual tax situation and type of vehicle. The EPA website can help you estimate just how much money you could save by making the switch. Images via Airwheel , Trinity eRoller , RJA1988 and Markus Roider

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The pros and cons of electromobility

Paris launches electric scooter sharing program with Coup and Gogoro

May 18, 2017 by  
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Getting to and fro in Paris is about to get easier than ever. Gogoro , in collaboration with Bosch subsidiary Coup , just announced plans to bring 600 Smartscooters to Paris this summer for their first electric scooting-sharing program in France. The expansion to a new European capital builds on the success of Gogoro’s e-scooter sharing program in Berlin that recently grew to 1,000 rental scooters in March. As one of the world’s most congested cities, Paris is no stranger to alternative transportation and ranks among the top scooter cities in the world. Coup and Gogoro’s Smartscooter sharing program offers a more sustainable and high-performance transit choice that’s also very stylish. “We have received a lot of positive feedback for the Coup eScooter sharing in Berlin since launching last August. The opportunity to experience a city quickly, flexibly, and without any fuss on the stylish Gogoro Smartscooters Smartscooter has proven extremely popular. The success in Berlin is motivating us to bring greater mobility to another European capital so today we are announcing our Paris launch this summer,” says Mat Schubert, CEO of COUP Mobility GmbH. “Gogoro has been supporting with features to make our innovative sharing service even better, more user friendly and we are confident Parisians will enjoy the ease of use and overall experience.” Related: Gogoro launches electric scooter sharing in Berlin – teams up with Bosch’s Coup The Coup sharing service with 600 Gogoro Smartscooters will launch this summer in select central Paris districts. Anyone of legal age with a Class B driver’s license or an international driver’s license will be able to use the service and return the electric vehicles in dedicated two-wheel parking zones within the Coup service area. Users will be charged in 30-minute increments and can locate and reserve the closest Smartscooter with the Coup app that will be available in French for iOS and Android. + Gogoro

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Paris launches electric scooter sharing program with Coup and Gogoro

This startup bets e-scooters can give urban power grids a makeover

July 20, 2015 by  
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Smaller electrified vehicles such as bikes, scooters and motorcycles aren’t yet in high demand stateside — but Gogoro thinks they’re poised to affect developing markets in a big way.

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This startup bets e-scooters can give urban power grids a makeover

How distributed generation will drive grid evolution

July 20, 2015 by  
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Just as interconnected servers and networks replaced mainframe computers and created the modern Internet, distributed generation is in a position to change how we look at the grid and the role of utilities. At VERGE 2014 in San Francisco, GreenBiz’s Heather Clancy sat down with California Public Utilities Commission commissioner Carla Peterman and Google’s Kurt Adelberger to talk about what distributed energy generation means for the near future.

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How distributed generation will drive grid evolution

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