The ever-greater use of electric and hybrid vehicles surely has noble grounds, based on the new world economy — more sustainable, conscious and shared.
However, due to technological factors, low turnover and reliance on an infrastructure system not yet fully available, the HEV Market still does not bolster engagement of the average consumer.
Another aspect is the present cost of the HEVs, higher than fossil-fueled vehicles. This makes both the initial volume and supply of the environment and sustainability-friendly product dependent on public policies and sector regulations.
In emerging countries like Brazil, the apparent advantage of receiving vehicles already developed in the multinational manufacturer headquarters, free of the added cost of development, should be an upside. But high cost, due to lack of incentives, and protectionism for the present model still place HEVs as niche products.
In a time of economic recession, this outlook means that the reality of a consolidated market is pushed further and further in the future, increasingly placing the country as an outsider in the automotive sector international competition.
Arguments for the environment and the cost advantage per mile over combustion engine vehicles still do not convince consumers to embrace even the hybrid technology nor, let alone, the all-electric one – the latest more dependent on a recharging infrastructure that still does not have clear standardization and charging method rules.
Cost factor apart, however, there is a conspicuous change in consumer opinion about the electric and hybrid vehicle. There is a growing willingness on the part of the potential users to change their initial impressions on this market and give preference to the environment sustainable solution.
With the use of the first niche applications and a certain concentration of infrastructure to expose integration of various modals, it is possible to estimate that goodwill and support for the HEV will arise spontaneously in the market.
The Green Urban Mobility project is thus part of the strategy for sustainable urban mobility incentives offered in this guidebook.
Climate extremes are becoming more and more intense and frequent all over the world. The years 2015 and 2016 were officially the hottest since temperature record-keeping began, in 1880.¹
These events disclose the urgent need of reducing green house gases (GHG) emissions, which change the Earth climate on a daily basis.
Many international initiatives have been proposed in an effort to reduce the GHG emissions and slow down global warming, which can be felt every day on our own skins, whatever the year season. In effect, warm winters and cold spells in winter have become more and more common every year.
The most recent international initiative is the Paris Agreement, a consequence of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in
The COP21 defined how countries should reduce or cut their GHG emissions and become low-carbon economies in the second half of this century, in order to limit the rise of global average temperature to less than 2C above pre-industrial levels ².
Brazil is in this agreement and has proposed to reduce its emissions in 37% until 2025 (in relation to 2005 emissions), with the indicative target of 43% up to 2030.
In absolute terms, this means 1.2 billion ton CO2 emissions in 2030 – present Brazilian emissions are around 1.6 billion³.
To reach such a reduction, a few important steps should be taken, among them a strong plan to end deforestation and channel 70% of the energy sector investments to the renewable industry4.
Although deforestation is well known as the biggest Brazilian “culprit”, from 2010 on the energy sector has raised its participation in this scenery. It has become the second greater GHG emitter in the country, with 479.1 million tons in 2014, 46% of which by the transportation sector5, as a result of the intensive use of the fossil fuel road modal.
For that matter, electric motors appear as great allies in reducing emissions, once they offer a 59-62% efficiency, against the 17-21% of the fuel motor ones.6
In the Brazilian metropolitan areas, pollution has become one of the biggest threats to life quality7.
Emissions from transportation dump particulate matter (PM) in the atmosphere and various types of pollutants, among them CO, SO2, O3, HC, H2S, Pb, NH2, and NO2.
Smoke and particulate matter are among the top causes of respiratory and cardiovascular problems in big cities. Air pollution is responsible for premature deaths of more than 300 thousand people each year in Europe8.
Estimates indicate that in the city of São Paulo four thousand people die each year as a result of problems that can be attributed to air pollution and related to transit, resulting in costs of $1.5 billion to the State9.
Besides affecting health directly, air pollution has also a significant impact on the population life expectancy.
The Low Gas Emission areas (Green Urban Mobility Zones) are islands of improvement of the air quality in cities, and can influence their surroundings.
In this context, hybrid and electric vehicles (HEVs) emerge as clean transportation alternatives, for they do not emit any kind of gas and help to reduce the level of noise.
Benefits are self-evident both to cyclists and pedestrians, and to society as a whole, with significant gains in life quality and public health.
ENERGY AND EFFICIENCY
Global industry is being driven by the demand for world expertise in terms of the use of more sustainable and efficient technologies.
In Brazil, targets for CO2 emissions for km traveled and MJ/mi efficiency – as defined by the Brazilian government program Inovar-Auto – do not pose so many challenges, since the green fuel (ethanol) and Flex motorization can meet target figures without much difficulty.
While technologies like the fuel cell (hydrogen-driven vehicle) test their first commercial products in the international scenario, here in Brazil the major clean technologies promoters are the electricity energy generation, distribution and supplying companies.
These companies see electromobility as an opportunity to expand their energy retailing business beyond home and industrial use.
The Flex technology mastery and the second generation of ethanol production should reflect and influence future rulings on industrialization in the country, the local R&D.
The inception of local Flex hybrid vehicles assembly, for example, is a policy recommendation very consistent with the type of Brazilian market and technology. It will place us in line with international tendencies, through local expertise on the project, entire process and ecosystem of traction, distribution and sale of fuel and energy, which moves agricultural, energy, automotive, services, and commercial segments.
Taxation (IPVA, tax on property of motor vehicles, e.g.) disclosure on car labeling (presently valid, and eventually mandatory for lightweight vehicles) is another urgent recommendation. To expand the same labeling program to other kinds of vehicles – of all sizes and weights– is also a legitimate recommendation, according to the due emission regulation.
THE STRATEGIC MASTER PLAN outlines the general rules for the city planning. It is a document that summarizes targets for the Municipality urban development, and establishes principles, directions and norms to be used as a basis so that decisions by different players involved in the urban development process converge, as much as possible, in the direction of these targets10. It is mandatory for all municipalities with 20 thousand inhabitants or more.
When planning something for a city, it is imperative to be able to answer the following question: “What do we want?” To meet these targets, it is fundamental that the issues be democratically discussed, which can help to find solutions taking into consideration more than one point of view.
The plan should guide all urban development, from the opening of a new avenue to the setting of a new district, to the deployment of a new sewage plant, for example.
THE ZONING LAW is a major instrument in this sense, since it details the Master Plan, setting limits to private and individual initiatives. It regulates the use and occupation of the urban space, as to each area’s main function and type, be it residential, commercial, industrial or mixed-use.
Other laws are fundamental when taking into account climate, mobility and soil, as the National Policy of Climate Change – PNMC – law #12.187/2009, which establishes principles, targets, directions, and instruments for GHG emission reduction and the slowing down of climatic changes in Brazil;
And the National Urban Mobility Policy– law #12.587/2012, with target on the integration of different types of transportation and the improvement of people and freight accessibility in the Municipality area, contributing thus to the universal access to the city.
5OC & SEGG, 2015
6US Department of Energy, 2014
7SANTOS, Jan. 2015
8URBAN ACCESS REGULATIONS
9VAZ et al, 2015