To open a window to the future, The Good Life reviewed initiatives and facts that underline today’s limits and shape tomorrow’s mobility, outlining some solutions to the climate emergency.
an overcharged battery
Electric cars suffer from one major drawback: battery charging time. A battery contains an average of 200 cells. When loaded, each cell must be filled in before moving on to the next. Although it takes 5 minutes to fill up with an electric car, it is impossible to leave in less than half an hour at least with your electric car. But that brake may soon jump: inspired by the physical properties of quantum entanglement, Korean researchers at the Institute for Basic Science have imagined a technology that would make it possible to fill all cells at the same time. And recharge everything in 3 minutes! But don’t get carried away, it’s still theory.
In terms of decarbonizing mobility means, the hydrogen fuel cell holds promise. The device is based on the production of electricity by a principle of injecting a mixture of hydrogen and air which, in contact with rare metals, will oxidize and produce electricity. Considered very clean, these batteries are unfortunately very expensive. But in the face of emergency, requests multiply. Alstom, which produces a regional hydrogen train, is taking orders. Toyota is integrating it into its range of electric vehicles. Michelin started making batteries. And the transport authority of Ile-de-France, which already has 7 buses of this type, has placed an order for 50 more.
Electricity at an affordable price
More and more French people are tempted by an electric bike. However, the purchase price (between €1,500 and €2,000 on average), fear of theft and fear of unscheduled repairs are often obstacles. This gave the idea to many actors, such as Veligo, Dance, Mot-to, Swapfiets or Starbolt, to propose a parade. For subscriptions starting at €40 per month, these companies provide a personal bike and a complete service to their users. What to take the leap.
On June 8, 2022, the European Parliament approved a text confirming the reduction to zero of CO2 emissions from new vehicles from 2035. The main consequence is the ban on manufacturers selling gasoline and diesel cars.
China, pioneer in electric cars
In China, the electric car market is booming, with many brands unknown in Europe. In the first half of 2022 alone, BYD sold 641,000 electric and plug-in hybrid cars. That’s 80,000 more units than Tesla, your dolphin, over the same period. Which simply makes it the world champion in sales of this means of mobility.
Solex is back
Easybike, the company that bought Solex in 2013, is preparing to relaunch the mythical two-wheeled vehicle in an electric version and 100% made in France. The project was entrusted to Pininfarina, an emblematic company of Italian automotive design. The icon’s return to the saddle is scheduled for the summer of 2023, with the added bonus of choosing between purchase (about €4,500) and long-term rental, a formula that will play an important role commercially. The new means of mobility that fits the present.
Luxury vehicle manufacturers spared
If the European Parliament intends to ban the sale of thermal cars from 2035 onwards, luxury vehicle manufacturers will benefit from preferential treatment: those who sell less than 10,000 new vehicles a year will benefit from an additional period of at least one year, and also not be subject to the gradual reduction in the sale of thermal vehicles from 2030.
no more excuses
The electric bike is on the rise. Thanks in part to sacred ecological arguments. The manufacture of an electric bicycle generates an average of 165 kg of CO2, against 8,500 kg for an electric sedan and 13,000 kg for a thermal SUV. And in use, we observe the same proportions: the bike rejects only 20 g of CO2 for 100 km travelled, against 1 kg for the electric sedan and 14 kg for the thermal SUV. Better for the environment? Yes, and also for health!
The end of a myth?
In January 2022, a billionaire driving a Bugatti Chiron reached 414 km/h on German highways, quite legally, as certain parts are not subject to any limitations. However, this performance may be the last. The German parliament is preparing to study a law to limit speed to 130 km/h. A measure that is not only symbolic, as it can lead to a reduction of 2 million tons of CO2 emissions in Germany.
According to recent studies carried out by the Danish and Dutch governments, this is the cost to a city and its citizens for every kilometer driven by car, between creating and maintaining infrastructure and environmental pollution. On the other hand, every kilometer traveled generates an overall benefit to society of at least one euro, in particular thanks to the health benefits.
Paris, a permanent traffic jam
140: this is the number of hours the average Parisian spent in traffic jams in 2021, according to a study by the company Inrix. Residents of Ile-de-France do not have a monopoly on the hell of everyday life (even though time wasted driving through traffic jams decreased by 15% in Paris between 2019 and 2021), as the total is 102 hours for Lyonnais or 78 hours for the Marseillaise. Only London and its notorious anti-car policy are worse than Paris: the Londoner will have spent around 148 hours in traffic jams. Enough to undermine your legendary phlegm!
transport, mobility to pollute
To date, with more than 8 billion tons annually, transport generates about a quarter of the world’s total CO2 emissions. This makes it the most polluting sector, with an eloquent distribution: road vehicles – individual, collective and freight – represent 75% of these emissions, aviation is with 11%, maritime transport with 10% and rail, only 1% .
A solution ecological
Aviation – responsible for approximately 2.5% of CO2 emissions – has been considering its ecological transition for several years. While you wait for the advent of electric and hydrogen planes that struggle to take off, using SAF – sustainable aviation fuels – can reduce your carbon footprint by 80%. Europe already requires suppliers to incorporate a percentage of SAF into the fuel supplied to European airports. It’s 1% today, it will increase to 2% in 2025, then to 5% in 2030, and probably to more than 60% in 2050. But that can be felt in ticket prices: SAFs are now four or five times more expensive than kerosene.
1% is the share of electric cars in the French fleet, ie 450,000 units. Although they only accounted for 2% of sales by 2019, they reached the 13% mark in March 2022.