At present we are facing one of the biggest challenges regarding people and freight mobility. Internal combustion engine vehicles have dominated road transport for over 100 years but are detrimental to people and nature. In addition to CO2 emissions which lead to climate change, pollutants such as NOx have negative impacts on air quality in urban areas.
Road transport is at the heart of some of the most significant societal challenges. The importance of energy security and sustainability, climate change, environmental issues and road safety are increasingly recognised; the need for accessible, affordable and robust mobility is acknowledged by increasingly urbanised populations; the recent global financial crisis has illustrated the need to improve European competitiveness.
Vehicle manufacturers are well aware of the problems which lie ahead and all types of Electric Vehicles (EVs) are entering the market. However, there are barriers to the electrification of road transport, affecting consumer acceptance and confidence in such vehicles. New innovative ICT services are required for a significant migration to electric transport and the mobility of people and freight.
Challenges for eMobility:
Barriers to eMobility are mainly related to the electric battery limitations such as their weight and range, but also infrastructure requirements for charging points. Currently electric vehicles are still best used for short journeys due to the range of the batteries.
The question of cruising range is vital for consumers, although most surveys and studies show that most trips match the theoretical range of EVs, market research underline the existence of 'range anxiety' among consumers. While it would be good to change driver's perception about this issue, it is also up to ICT services to facilitate the management of EV journeys and all the aspects related to simplifying the charging of EVs to overcome 'range anxiety'.
Cost is also an important barrier, with purchase price currently much higher compared to conventional vehicles, and running costs remaining something of an uncertainty for consumers. This might pave the way for a revision of the traditional perception of road transport as based on vehicle ownership, and an increase in the demand for services such as vehicle-sharing. Energy cost savings linked to the rising price of petrol and potential economies of scale associated with running EV fleets might also convince public and private fleet operators to adopt EVs.