C40 Voices: Kathryn Urquhart, LEV Network Manager introduces the C40 Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Network
One of C40’s most active networks expands to incorporate broader array of technologies
For nearly two years, more than 20 C40 cities around the world have been working together on low emission vehicle technology solutions for vehicle fleets. In a shift reflecting the broadening array of technologies available to deliver these solutions, we are expanding our Electric Vehicle (EV) Network to incorporate other types of low emission vehicles.
The newly named Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Network will continue to focus on full electric and hybrid vehicle technologies (including electric buses), but will also look at hydrogen fuel cell, compressed natural gas (CNG) and even diesel engines with advanced emissions controls, based on interest from participating cities.
Sharing knowledge, delivering results
To date, our cities have shared information and collaborated on many topics related to electric vehicles. Over the past year alone, 24 cities have participated in over 25 interactions (e.g., webinars, in-person meetings, and phone calls) hosted by the EV Network, advancing their individual and collective efforts on topics such as electric vehicle charging, car-sharing schemes, municipal fleets and taxi projects. This has led to better projects, delivered faster as cities learn from each other.
Indeed, the Network supports concrete actions in cities that result in lower carbon footprints; improved local air quality and human health. The 2014 Climate Action in Megacities report (CAM 2.0) indicates that C40 cities exert strong control over assets supporting private transport — in fact, 84 percent of C40 cities own or operate sidewalks, on-street car parking and city roads. The research shows that cities are already taking a number of actions on low emission vehicles – these range from Bogotá’s recently launched electric taxi pilot, the largest in South America, to Oslo’s EV incentives programme, which has helped lead to an average of 5.6% of all new vehicles sold being 100% electric in 2013 in Norway, compared to most other countries which have seen an EV uptake at less than 1%12.
Because low emission vehicle technologies are still in a nascent stage, cities are eager to learn how they are performing in real world circumstances and understand the best technologies for them. A group of cities in the Network have already started discussions about others’ progress in adopting clean bus technology, as well as possible ways to overcome some of the common barriers and challenges often associated with low emission buses relating to high costs and lack of information on performance.
Through the Low Emission Vehicle Network, cities will continue to connect, share information, collaborate and build on the momentum created by the Electric Vehicle Network, to help inform the development of better transport strategies and projects in cities around the world. This is vital, as private motorised transport accounts for less than a third of journeys reported by cities, but contributes to 73 percent of emissions. I am excited about this next phase under the LEV Network and look forward to continuing to work with cities to deliver significant impact on the ground.