Smart Cities: Startups Revolutionising Urban Mobility
The rapid urbanisation of our world has led to numerous challenges, one of the most pressing being the strain of our mobility systems on the environment. Traditional modes of transportation rely on conventional fossil fuels, significantly contributing to pollution, congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions. In response to this challenge, innovative startups in the realm of clean mobility are emerging as key players in the development of smart cities.
The Role of Urban Transport in Climate Change
Urban areas account for a large share of global carbon emissions and pollution, largely due to the high density of vehicles powered by fossil fuels. In fact, the transportation sector, which relies on conventional petroleum-based fuels to operate a wide array of vehicles such as cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes, is accountable for approximately one-fifth (20.2%) of the total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Those trap the sun’s heat in the atmosphere, contributing to the pressing issue of global warming. Consequently, the need for alternative, clean mobility solutions has never been more critical.
The Need for a Sustainable Framework
The European Union led the way as the first major economy to present its emissions reduction objective in accordance with the Paris agreement. Through the EU Green Deal, it has pledged to reduce net GHG emissions by at least 55% by 2030, relative to the levels from 1990. By supporting cities in accelerating their green and digital transformation, it set a path for the continent to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
Startups Emerging with Clean Mobility Solutions
Recognising the extent of environmental degradation stemming from transportation and the complex problems faced by urban areas, GreenTech startups and scaleups across the globe have also stepped up to address this challenge. Focusing their efforts on promoting transport decarbonisation and sustainable mobility, they not only revolutionise transportation but enhance overall urban livability with their innovative solutions. Here are some examples:
- Upway is an e-mobility startup offering a platform for the second-hand purchase, reconditioning and resale of electric bikes which continue to grow in popularity. While originally from Paris, it has recently launched its online marketplace in the US.
- Yego is a shared mobility company offering a range of modern, eco-friendly electric motorbikes rented per minute. It operates in Spain and France, empowering their residents to move in a more sustainable way in the urban environment.
- Whim, a pioneering Mobility-as-a-Service (Maas) provider, came forward with a solution combining all urban transport services in one app. With its integrated booking and payment functions, it offers the ultimate freedom of mobility around cities. While originally developed in Finland, it’s now available in various countries worldwide.
- Bonnet revolutionised the electric vehicle management experience through its app, enabling the location of public charging points around the world. This not only makes longer journeys more feasible, but increases the adoption of e-mobility by ensuring drivers have access to charging infrastructure at all times.
- Carryt, a Colombian last-mile delivery startup, offers services to retail, e-commerce, and medical sectors. It combines artificial intelligence and machine learning for logistics management, and provides the client with real-time information on their order.
In the face of environmental challenges stemming from urbanisation, the response isn’t solely confined to major economies. Fuelled by the urgent need to reduce pollution and emissions from traditional means of transportation, various clean mobility startups around the world are truly redefining urban mobility with their innovative solutions. These hold great potential in harmonising urban development with the environment, paving the way towards a greener and more sustainable future.
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