The drivers of green transport solutions

Tobias Kihlén Johan Grelsson

By Tobias Kihlén, Johan Grelsson

Together with representatives from Polestar, Scania, and Nacka Energi, we recently hosted a webinar on sustainable transformation in the transport sector. The discussion considered how a full-scale transformation will need to be economically viable, take a cohesive approach, and enable the development of EV charging infrastructure.

Although the vision of a sustainable transport sector includes electrification, it also depends on advancements such as green energy production and the development of smart cities. This will require changing old habits, a holistic approach to system boundaries, and overcoming investment barriers.

To bring full-scale transformation to an electrified transport sector, our panellists suggest a focus on three areas:

1. Economic viability

Transformation requires organisations to rethink their business models. Our panellists emphasised the importance of a strong business case, focusing on EV conversion, and growing an accessible battery capacity with dynamic electricity pricing. Using cost-effective electricity rates will lead to new pricing models. Moreover, customer demand is driving the shift to electric transport. However, transport providers are often risk-averse due to margin pressures and high costs of investment. To speed up the transition, guaranteed volumes and long-term contracts are needed to provide certainty.

2. A unified cohesive system

The primary challenge in developing new systems isn't necessarily the technological limitations, but the rate at which they're implemented. So there needs to be a holistic view of the system boundaries. Initially, a surge in the use of electric vehicles could strain the electricity system due to capacity concerns. Yet, once electric vehicles account for about 30 percent of the system's capacity, they can play a part in supporting it. The Vehicle to Grid concept was highlighted during our webinar for its significant potential to optimise battery energy storage. To make this happen, organisations must come together, adopting a unified approach, and fostering collaboration.

3. Enabling the development of the charging infrastructure

To address capacity limitations, we need innovative solutions that prioritise a higher level of standardisation. It’s essential that charging infrastructure is standardised and compatible across platforms. It’s also crucial to provide a consistent user experience across all charging providers.

The transport sector has made significant strides in electrification, yet there's much more to accomplish. While many players are eager to enhance their roles in this evolving landscape, success requires a well-calibrated operating model and collaborative partnerships.

Regardless of vehicle type, whether cars or heavy-goods vehicles, the objective remains clear: make it straightforward for users to choose eco-friendly options, access green electricity, and reduce emissions.

About the authors

Tobias Kihlén
Tobias Kihlén PA transport and infrastructure expert
Johan Grelsson
Johan Grelsson PA e-mobility expert

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