Transportation is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Statistics from the US show that the transportation sector is responsible for 27% of these emissions. The main GHG emitted is CO2, a heat-trapping gas which is driving global warming.
If we want to avoid the “far-reaching, long-lasting, and…devastating consequences” of climate change, then we need to reduce our emissions (CO2 in particular, which makes up 82% of all GHG emissions). In response to the harmful impact of transportation, car company BMW has said that an effective way to cut our emissions is by building elevated roads for electric bikes.
How will elevated roads for electric bikes reduce emissions?
In coming up with a solution to the problem of congested commuting, which increases vehicle emissions, BMW has suggested creating a separate elevated cycleway for two-wheeled electric traffic. These cycleways would serve as a direct link “between key traffic hubs”.
This proposal isn’t a new one, but what is interesting about this version is that it would be roofed over; plus, it would include many other eco-friendly, energy-efficient features, such as solar panels and rainwater collection technology.
The BMW E³ Way concept has been developed in collaboration with Tongji University and BMW’s technology office in Shanghai. Markus Seidel, head of the office, said:
The BMW Vision E³ Way opens up a whole new dimension of mobility in overcrowded conurbations – efficient, convenient and safe. It works by simply creating space for two-wheel zero-emissions traffic. In China, more than a billion people will be living in cities by 2050. The country will become the global incubator for numerous mobility innovations such as the BMW Vision E³ Way, after all, nowhere else is there such an urgent need for action.
Initial feasibility studies demonstrate that a concept such as the BMW Vision E³ Way can significantly reduce congestion, emissions, travel time and the risk of accidents. Traffic flow is permanently optimised by means of automated video surveillance systems and artificial intelligence as well as through the integration of smart city ecosystems. And the best thing is that its modular design and free scalability make the concept essentially suitable for use in any megacity.
Furthermore, rental e-bikes could be made available at each entry point, so that pedestrians and tourists could easily travel between key areas in the city. E-bikes are much better for the environment than cars and are six times more energy-efficient than rail transit. When it comes to emissions from vehicles, Green Future states:
Much of this pollution is produced by commuters making short trips from home to work and back, and switching to an electric bicycle for these commutes cuts down on a huge amount of harmful emissions and fossil fuel usage.
In fact, if every American living within five miles of their work were to commute by bike at least one day a week, it would be like taking a million cars off the road entirely.
About the author: Sam Woolfe @samwoolfe
Sam is a writer who is especially interested in space exploration, sustainability, animal agriculture, nutrition, wellbeing and smart drugs.