Electrification is Not a Panacea Posted on March 21, 2023 (June 8, 2023) by Dinda Years2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 30-day free access to FuturArc App CategoriesMain Feature City Profile Showcase Commentary Commentary / 1st Quarter 2023 Electrification is Not a Panacea March 21, 2023 Electric vehicles charging station in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Faiz Dila/Shutterstock.com One of the solutions that is being mainstreamed to decarbonise the transportation sector is to electrify vehicles. It is conducted in line with phasing out fossil fuels and using alternative sources of energy for the power grid. Different modes of transportation have been adopting electrification at varying paces.20 Rail has been widely electrified across Asia, followed by road-based vehicles like buses, cars and motorcycles or e-bikes, with such vehicles being mainstreamed in recent years through incentives. Electrification for waterborne transport is currently limited to small ships and short-distance trips, while large vessels use biofuels or hydrogen to reduce carbon emissions. Aviation in general is not expected to electrify within the next couple of decades. Many analysts have criticised how industry stakeholders are quick to jump at the potential of investment in e-vehicles, obfuscating its risks. Electrification still risks transferring one form of socioenvironmental hazard (pollution) to another (extraction of precious minerals for batteries21); does not account for the overall embodied energy in its manufacturing and distribution; does not solve pertinent issues like congestion; and its overall climate impact is contingent upon how ‘clean’ the power grid is. While it is important to innovate and upgrade transportation technologies, it is only one aspect of the larger goal to reduce emissions. [This is an excerpt. Subscribe to the digital edition or hardcopy to read the complete article.] Related story: Climate Feature: Climate Targets and the Transportation Sector Climate Feature: Climate Targets and the Transportation Sector | FuturArc The next direction Our modern industrial society has been deeply shaped by advances in the transportation sector. Settlements of old that sprouted along ports and waterways have shifted to develop alongside coast-to-coast arterial roads and railway stations; some have developed close to major transp… Read more stories from FuturArc 1Q 2023: Mobility & Transport! 20 Electrification of the Transport System (2017), Directorate-General for Research and Innovation: Smart, Green and Integrated Transport, European Union 21 https://www.euronews.com/next/2022/09/19/why-techcompanies-are-wrong-to-think-electric-cars-are-asolution-to-climate-change To read the complete article, get your hardcopy at our online shop/newsstands/major bookstores; subscribe to FuturArc or download the FuturArc App to read the issues. Previously Published Commentary Commentary / 3rd Quarter 2023Designing for Non-humans as an Act of Service Commentary3rd Quarter 2023Designing for Non-humans as an Act of Service Commentary / 3rd Quarter 2023Birdhouses Commentary3rd Quarter 2023Birdhouses Contact us at https://www.futurarc.com/contact-us for older commentaries.