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4 benefits of adopting electric public transport vehicles

Blogs & Features

August 11, 2023

MEZ2 Electric Vehicles

In the face of an escalating global climate crisis, societies worldwide are under unprecedented pressure to adopt more sustainable practices across all sectors. One industry in which this need is especially urgent is transportation. Traditional modes of transport, which heavily rely on fossil fuels, have long been among the world’s biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. However, innovators within the transport sector present an encouraging alternative: electric vehicles (EVs).

EVs are emerging to be at the vanguard of a new era of sustainable transport, promising not just an alternative, but a substantial upgrade over conventional vehicles. Particularly in the realm of public transportation, they have the potential to revolutionize the practice of commuting and encourage the continual development of more innovative and eco-friendly transport solutions. 

In the Philippines, for example, Mactan Economic Zone 2 Estate, one of Aboitiz InfraCapital’s (AIC) master-planned economic estates in Cebu, has been using electric shuttles since 2015. The company’s flagship industrial park project in Batangas, the LIMA Estate, has also recently launched a fleet of electric vehicles with charging stations in partnership with Global Electric Transport (GET). This transport decarbonization effort—along with the estate’s utilization of renewable energy sources and leveraging of advanced technologies to optimize industrial park operations—are among the factors that contributed to the LIMA Estate being recently awarded 5-star BERDE (Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence) Certification by the Philippine Green Building Council, a testament to the AIC’s status as a leading proponent of sustainable development in the country. 

All in all, EVs offer a myriad of benefits that warrant the attention of policymakers and business owners alike, such as the following:

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions

At the heart of the argument for electric vehicles is their ability to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Traditional vehicles, powered by gasoline or diesel, release these harmful gases every time they’re used. These include carbon dioxide, a primary contributor to global warming, as well as other pollutants such as methane and nitrous oxide.

In contrast, electric vehicles don’t produce any tailpipe emissions. This makes them inherently cleaner and more sustainable as a means of transportation. Moreover, the environmental benefits EVs offer extend beyond the lack of direct emissions from the vehicles themselves. When considering the entire lifecycle of a vehicle—from the extraction and processing of raw materials to the eventual disposal of the vehicle—EVs generally leave a smaller carbon footprint than conventional vehicles.

However, it’s important to note a critical caveat here: the source of the electricity that powers these EVs significantly influences their environmental impact. If the electricity is generated using fossil fuels, then the environmental advantages of EVs are compromised to an extent. But when charged with electricity from renewable sources, the benefits are undeniable. As societies continue to shift towards renewable energy, the environmental credentials of electric vehicles will only improve.

Enhance air quality

Aerial view of the city in the fog

EVs’ lack of greenhouse gas emissions leads naturally to cleaner air in the places where they operate. This is especially crucial in urban areas, where traditional modes of public transportation contribute to the formation of smog and, in turn, to the increased incidence of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases associated with air pollution. Cities that utilize EVs and other modes of green transportation can thus look forward to much improved public health as a result of diminished air pollution levels.

The benefits of clean air are not limited to health alone. Better air quality presents economic benefits in the form of reduced healthcare costs and a more productive workforce. Furthermore, improved air quality can enhance the livability of cities, making them more attractive to residents and businesses alike. As such, the transition to electric public transport can play a significant role in creating healthier, more vibrant urban communities.

Drive technological innovation

The push for electric public transportation is much more than a response to the ongoing climate crisis. It’s also one of the most salient drivers of global technological innovation today. As cities around the world begin to invest in electric buses, trams, and other forms of public transport, related technologies also see corresponding levels of growth and development. Battery technology, charging infrastructure, and smart grid systems, in particular, have all seen significant advancements propelled by the demand for more efficient electric vehicles.

Improved battery technology helps EVs run longer and charge faster, but it also has broader applications. For instance, advancements in energy storage can improve the utilization of renewable energy sources like solar and wind, which often suffer from intermittency issues. Similarly, the development of rapid charging infrastructure is crucial both for public transport and for the broader adoption of EVs among private users.

Make clean transport more accessible and equitable

young woman on a bus with mask

One of the most compelling arguments for electric public transportation is its potential to democratize access to clean transport. While the private EV market is growing, the cost of electric cars can still be prohibitive for many individuals, underscoring the need for clean public transport solutions.

By transitioning public transport fleets to electric vehicles, cities can provide all residents—regardless of income—with access to clean, sustainable transportation. This reduces the community’s overall carbon footprint and also helps ensure that the health and economic benefits of green transport are shared equitably across the population.

Furthermore, investing in electric public transportation can also create jobs and bolster economic growth. From the manufacturing of EVs and their components to the installation and maintenance of charging infrastructure, there is copious potential for new jobs to spring up in a variety of sectors. In this way, the transition to electric public transport can promote social and economic equity in addition to environmental sustainability.

The adoption of electric vehicles in public transportation is more than a trend—it’s a necessary shift toward a sustainable future. And given the numerous benefits they offer, EVs are much more becoming

an integral part of the strategy to combat the climate crisis. By investing in electric public transport, the private and public sectors ultimately invest in building healthier economies and societies.

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