Why electric vehicles alone cannot solve tomorrow’s mobility issues

(Eco Business, 28 Jun 2019) Instead of placing all their bets on electric vehicles, governments and urban planners must promote mass public transport and enable different modes of mobility to tackle traffic congestion.

Often touted as the future of transportation, electric vehicles have gained popularity in recent years due to their ultra-low emissions, reduced noise pollution and maintenance costs.

But instead of placing their bets on electric vehicles alone, governments and urban planners must promote public transport and enable different modes of transportation to tackle one of the most pressing challenges that cities face—traffic congestion, said Low Ka Hoe, chief strategy officer at Singapore-headquartered firm ST Engineering.

He was speaking at a session on the future of mobility on Thursday at the Innovfest Unbound event. Part of Singapore’s Smart Nations Innovation Week, the event was organised by the National University of Singapore’s entrepreneurial arm NUS Enterprise and innovation platform Unbound, in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore.

“To ease traffic congestion, you need to make sure that people go back to taking mass public transport. Private electric cars and automated vehicles are all very flexible and convenient, but if everyone uses them, traffic will be terrible,” Low observed.

Traffic jams cost Southeast Asia US$460 billion in 2017 and this amount is expected to double by 2030, he said. Congestion exacts a cost on drivers, public health and the economy.

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Eco Business, 28 Jun 2019: Why electric vehicles alone cannot solve tomorrow’s mobility issues