Electric buses could pioneer a new age of clean and
efficient urban transport and put cities on track towards sustainability.
However, electric bus adoption is not accelerating fast enough for the world to
meet transport-related global climate objectives and help limit global
temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.
The aim of this report is to fill in knowledge gaps and
provide actionable guidance for transit agencies and bus operating entities to
help them overcome the most common and debilitating barriers to electric bus
adoption. It provides a step-by-step guidance to establish and achieve electric
bus adoption targets using concrete and diverse real-world experiences.
Transit agencies and bus operating entities are encouraged
to maximize electric bus adoption targets based on local conditions and to
develop a responsible strategy for implementation. They should be actively
involved in planning and analysis; be serious about piloting and testing
projects; and collaborate with city policymakers and other stakeholders to
accelerate a responsible adoption of electric buses. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Over the next 15 years, more hard infrastructure is
projected to be built around the world than currently exists. This global
build-out is already underway, and the changes it brings will only accelerate.
Infrastructure projects, especially in the transport, energy, information and
communications technology (ICT), and water sectors, have long been recognized
as the backbone of modern economies. Going forward, emerging digital
infrastructure, including fifth-generation (5G) networks, remote sensing, and
other advanced technologies, will be especially critical. As our infrastructure
is transformed, so will be the economies it fuels, the regions it connects, and
the global commons it underpins. These trends are too powerful and potentially
beneficial for the United States to stop, and too consequential to ignore. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
A new wave of energy innovation is remaking the
transportation, electricity, and manufacturing sectors. This so-called fourth
industrial revolution is already creating great uncertainty about the future
energy landscape, lessening common interests between oil-producing nations and
the world’s largest economies. [Note: contains copyrighted
Driving is one of the riskiest activities the average American engages in. Deaths and serious injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of preventable deaths. In 2017, 37,133 people were killed in police-reported motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and in 2016 an estimated 3.14 million people were injured.1 Many of the people who die in traffic crashes are relatively young and otherwise healthy (motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 17 and 23).2 As a result, while traffic crashes are now the 13th leading cause of death overall, they rank seventh among causes of years of life lost (i.e., the difference between the age at death and life expectancy).3 In addition to the emotional toll exacted by these deaths and injuries, traffic crashes impose a significant economic toll. The Department of Transportation (DOT) estimated that the annual cost of motor vehicle crashes in 2010 was $242 billion in direct costs and $836 billion when the impact on quality of life of those killed and injured was included.4 About one-third of the direct cost came from the lost productivity of those killed and injured; about one-third from property damage; 10% from present and future medical costs; 12% from time lost due to congestion caused by crashes; and the remainder from the costs of insurance administration, legal services, workplace costs,5 and emergency services.
The world’s core infrastructure—including our transport and energy systems, buildings, industry, and land-related activities—produce more than 60 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally.
By 2030 the world will need to build approximately $85 trillion in low-carbon climate-resilient (LCR) infrastructure in order to meet the Paris climate change agreement’s goal of keeping the global average temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius by 2050. Meeting this infrastructure investment need will require doubling today’s global capital stock. This paper defines LCR infrastructure as including renewable energy, more compact cities, and suitable mass transit as well as energy efficiency measures. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Imagine that, in 2050, not a single person in the United States dies in a traffic crash. This is the scenario described in this report, in which RAND researchers set forth a vision and strategy for achieving zero roadway deaths by 2050.
The authors propose that a combination of three approaches can realize this scenario. The first is doubling down on programs and policies that have already been shown to be effective, including laws and enforcement, changes to roadway infrastructure designed to reduce traffic conflicts, reductions in speeds where crashes are likely, improvements to emergency response and trauma care, and more safety education and outreach. The second is accelerating advanced technology, beginning with advanced driver assistance systems (many of which are already in the market) and progressing up to fully automated vehicles. The third is prioritizing safety, which includes both (1) embracing a new safety culture that will lead Americans to think differently about our individual and collective choices and (2) widespread adoption of the “Safe System” approach, a paradigm shift in addressing the causes and prevention of roadway deaths and injuries.
The authors conclude with a list of actions that key stakeholders — including professional engineering and planning organizations, public-sector organizations, safety advocates, vehicle manufacturers, technology developers, public health, emergency medical and trauma care organizations, and law enforcement and judicial system representatives — can take to bring about the changes needed to achieve zero roadway deaths by 2050. [Note: contains copyrighted material].