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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article15 March 20182 min read

Vehicle electrification revolution is to decrease travel costs and emissions in cities

The recent report “Electric Vehicles for Smarter Cities: The Future of Energy and Mobility “of the World Economic Forum calls for a new approach to electromobility to capture its potential for contributing to economic growth and CO2 emissions reduction. The report focuses on developments and their implications for cities in the areas of electrification, decentralisation and digitalisation of energy systems as well as the transition to shared and autonomous mobility models. It claims that electric and autonomous vehicles are expected to reduce travel costs in cities by 40% and cut of CO2 emissions to zero. New jobs, as well as air quality improvements benefitting public health, will bring added value to society in the order of $ 635 billion by 2030.

To arrive at this point, concrete and urgent actions need to be focus on the integration of urban energy and mobility patterns allowing cities to meet their climate targets, to foster energy efficiency and to innovate in terms of services and infrastructure in the combined energy and mobility area.

A choice of good examples and approaches were presented, including:

  • Berlin (DE): the business park EUREF Campus supplies electric charging stations and inductive charging for e-vehicles integrated in a microgrid using artificial intelligence to optimise the charging process and to deliver surplus electricity to the grid based on dynamic pricing models.
  • London (UK): Transport for London calls for all new black taxis to be electric and free of exhaust emissions. Charging stations are also being installed, currently there are around 80, which will be increased to 300 by 2020.
  • Paris (FR): A public-private-partnership between the Ile-de-France Region and a number of private partners created the Autolib service, an e-carsharing service providing for 4,000 vehicles and 1,100 charging station with 6,200 charging spots covering the entire region. Charging options are accessible to both the actual service users as well as other e-vehicle owners.
  • Oslo (NO) plans to put in place 1,200 e-vehicles in its public fleet. Urban Vehicle Access Restrictions are in place already, complemented by lanes for e-vehicles only.

Inspired by first initiatives like these and in other cities globally, the World Economic Forum report summarises the basic rules for action:

  • Putting priority on vehicles of high utility: regulations need to be changed to promote the quicker uptake of shared vehicle fleets and (later) autonomous options.
  • Charging infrastructure needs to be put in place now, but needs to anticipate future mobility development in order to avoid placing the wrong service offerings or putting emphasis on the wrong locations.
  • Electrification of urban transport requires a multi-stakeholder and market specific approach tailored to each city’s setting.

You can access the full report here:

Story first published by on 14th of March 2018.



Publication date
15 March 2018
  • Clean and energy-efficient vehicles
  • Europe-wide