The 21st century is struggling to sustain the Environment today. The widespread population, rising exploitation and lack of management of resources, both renewable and non-renewable are killing the Earth in more ways than we can list down. All such factors have degraded the Earth and its Environment to such an extent that the entire world is facing a scarcity of resources. Not just this, the pollution level is so bad that even the resources that are available in plenty have become highly contaminated and unfit for use.

SO WHAT TO DO?

Experts and scientists believe that the development of both Environmental technology and Environmental Ethics will be the backbone of a sustainable future as the population keeps rising. While Environmental Ethics is simply about developing one’s mindset and personal responsibility towards the Environment, Environmental technologies are being discussed and developed to provide clean and eco-friendly alternatives to the existing ones especially Green Transportation.

Green Transportation

Green Transportation

Current transportation systems come along with a wide range of problems including global warming, environmental degradation, health implications (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual), and emission of greenhouse gases. Transportation is the sector being targeted since it is the major contributor to greenhouse gas emission. The immediate and obvious solution to this wanton environmental pollution is greening of the transport sector. Thus Green Transportation is being developed to promote transportation practice or vehicle that is eco-friendly and does not have any negative impact on the immediate environment.

Why do we need Green Transportation?

Today over 90% of all road transportation relies on oil, going hand-in-hand with the total global oil consumption, which stands at 60%. Out of the total greenhouse gas emissions, road transport takes up a lion share, 75% to be precise and this trend is projected to increase in the future if it continues unabated. All this puts a lot of pressure on the national governments to devise policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as oil demands.

Future modes of Green Transportation

Scientists and engineers are trying to seek new technologies to change the way we can travel without harming the environment through quiet, environmentally-friendly aircraft for sustainable travel. Here are the top and most talked about technologies that will take the future of traveling and transportation to a whole new level.

  • E-Bikes

Electric bikes or E-Bikes are great modes of green transportation because they don’t release any harmful emission into the environment. A special registration, license, and insurance are required in some countries to be able to ride an electric bike. The speed of electric bikes is greatly regulated by law.

  • Electric Cars

Electric cars

Electric cars or Battery powered cars have been circling around the streets for quite a few years now. They are smaller, lighter and comparatively much slower than the conventional fuel powered cars. Many private and government companies in India have invested and rolled out various models of electric cars including Reva by Mahindra Electric Mobility Limited and the Tata Tigor Electric.

However, the concept of electric cars has failed to expand in India due to several traffic and management issues. The successful functioning of such vehicles require smoother roads and evenly placed charging stations.

  • Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars

Similar to Electric Vehicles, Hybrid cars also rely on electricity. Most of the modern hybrid cars are designed to automatically and efficiently recharge their batteries by converting energy in the course of braking. Greenhouse emissions in hybrid cars are extremely low. Emissions can range from 26% – 90% lower compared to a standard fuel consuming cars. According to experts, hybrid cars cut down health-threatening emissions by over 90%.

  • Electric Planes

Electric plane

Major airplane manufacturers are now planning to design and develop the concept of electric planes and personal flying vehicles to take the future of eco-friendly flights to another level. Boeing and Airbus, two of the largest aircraft manufacturing companies in the world recently invested in working to build electric aircraft for commercial flights to revolutionize air travel by cutting flight times, reducing costs and amount of pollutants released into the air as well.

  • Hyperloops
Hyperloop
Hyperloop concept design

Hyperloop is the most advanced proposed future mode of passenger transportation that works as a sealed tube or system of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction. The concept of Hyperloop transportation was introduced and named by Elon Musk in August 2013.

It uses a linear electric motor to accelerate and decelerate an electromagnetically levitated pod through a low-pressure tube. The vehicle will glide silently for miles at speeds up to 670 mph (1080 km/h) with no turbulence. This would help facilitate transportation at high speed while being very efficient.

Hyperloop
Hyperloop One under construction

Virgin Hyperloop One or simply Hyperloop One is an American company in Los Angeles, California, that is working to commercialize the Hyperloop for moving passengers and/or cargo at airline speeds at a fraction of the cost of air travel. It is one of the first international companies of its type to attempt at commercializing the concept of Hyperloop.  The concept is being thoroughly processed and studied to be installed in countries like USA and India, where the proposals have reached the Memorandum and Understanding (MOU) stage with various state governments.

Cost and effectiveness of Green Transportation

The biggest reason for the failure in setting up the perfect foundation for a clean and sustainable future is the investment. It has been well observed that many under-developed and developing countries are failing to establish modes of green transportation due to the initial investment costs being high. The fact about the high investment rate is true, but it is debatable.

To ensure that green transportation is a success, national governments must invest in innovation and production of vehicles that utilize renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, biofuels, and hydroelectricity. Investing in setting up a concrete foundation for the successful and long-term is indeed more as compared to the conventional fuel consuming modes of transport as a result of which the budgeting and financing authorities feel the cringe to spend so much money.

BUT experts widely believe that the profit acquired from such transportation in the future will be much more than the investment. Thus making green transportation extremely profitable, effective and most importantly sustainable. Once the network starts expanding and sufficing transportation to more and more people and regions, the venture will become extremely profitable for both the economy and environment.

Benefits of Green transportation

  • Fewer to no environmental pollution

The existing modes of transportation utilize sources of energy such as fossil fuels, which emit vast quantities of greenhouse gases to the environment. Shifting to green transportation would help rid the atmosphere of these toxic gases since these modes of transportation have few to zero emissions.

  • Saves you money

Embracing green transportation modes like bicycles, multiple occupant cars, and electric motorcycles will save you a lot of out-of-pocket costs related to buying fossils fuels at the pump.

  • Contribute to the building of a sustainable economy

Manufacturing and distribution of green vehicles will go along with improving existing transport systems. This will lead to the creation of more jobs in the transport sector, hence, minimizing social-economic disparities and building up a sustainable economy. It will also minimize over-reliance on fossil fuels, which drain an economy.

  • Improved health

Energy sources from fossils fuels like natural gas, coal, and oil emit toxic gases that negatively affect our health. In fact, these gasses have been associated with rising cases of cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. The emissions produced by green vehicles are not harmful to human health, so embracing green transportation will only improve a country’s health status.

There are many other benefits associated with green transportation which will enhance healthier lifestyle and improve quality of human life. The biggest challenge for any government will be to convince the entire population to change up to green transportation, but with significant steps underway, the future of green transportation is nothing but bright, healthy and profitable, thus saving our environment from further degradation!