EUROPE GOES GREEN
BEST EUROPEAN CITIES WHERE TO PURCHASE AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE
In numerous studies, electric automobiles have been found to be beneficial for the environment, as they release fewer greenhouse gases and pollutants into the air. Electric vehicles have the potential to minimise transportation-related pollution while also mitigating global warming.
Europe has managed to position itself as one of the global leaders against climate change.
Over the last few years, the European Union has taken significant measures toward climate mitigation. However, if the world wants to avoid the worst effects of climate change, countries only have a limited amount of time to act. That is why it is crucial for national, regional, and local authorities to stay up-to-date when it comes to looking for new solutions that can help in the fight against climate change.
It has been proven multiple times that when cities work together and with national and regional players to combat climate change, they are most effective. In this case, implementing game-changing and efficient policies that would encourage more people to switch to electric cars can truly make a difference. According to Schmidt Automotive, battery electric vehicles sales in Western Europe will account for 60% of the market (8.4 million vehicles) by 2030.
Electric vehicles have been marketed as the ideal vehicle for European cities since they are non-polluting, have minimal operating costs, and are environmentally friendly. That is why numerous cities around Europe are seeing an increase in battery-powered electric vehicles on their roads. USwitch, a UK-based price comparison service, recently published the results of their study which aimed to determine which European cities were most devoted to promoting the usage of electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles, along with shared mobility, will undoubtedly play a significant part in smart cities in the upcoming years. With more drivers successfully persuaded into switching to electric cars, the broad availability of charging stations is extremely important. Cities must construct large-scale EV charging infrastructure, as well as urge other stakeholders to invest. The level of charging infrastructure varies greatly across different European cities, which is why the USwitch’s study offers a very useful insight into the most EV-friendly cities in the old continent.
In the study, each city was assigned a combined score of 10 based on the four key factors: average charging price, the average distance between chargers, average charger power and the proportion of free electric charging stations. Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, received an overall score of 7.94, making it the greatest European city in which to purchase an electric vehicle. Iceland’s capital performed admirably in all four categories, with an average distance between EV charging stations of only 0.55 kilometres.
The city of Glasgow ranked second in the study with an impressive score of 92% for free charging points. Although it achieved high marks in other areas, Glasgow was disadvantaged for a low average EV charging power score of 17kWh. The Portuguese capital Lisbon came third in the study. It had an amazing overall score of 7.31, thanks to great ratings of €0.17 for an average price per kWh and 0.76km for the average distance between charging stations. Budapest was the highest-ranked central European city on the list, coming 4th overall.
The Hungarian capital scored well across all categories, with over half of its EV charging stations being free and the average charging power of 25kWh. The top 5 was closed by the Norwegian city of Oslo, which has a long-standing reputation as one of the EV capitals of the world. Barcelona, The Hague, Prague, Antwerp, Helsinki, and Amsterdam round out the top ten.
Electric vehicles provide numerous environmental and air-quality benefits. Local authorities can adopt ambitious new tactics to entice residents to drive electric vehicles by strengthening the charging infrastructure, among other things. Electric vehicles have an enormous potential to reduce emissions and aid in the fight against climate change, which is an opportunity the world cannot afford to miss.
EU CIRCULAR ECONOMY
CIRCULARITY IS BECOMING ROTTERDAM’S NEW TRADEMARK
The linear economy, in which products are extracted, manufactured, used, and discarded, currently dominates the world. The circular economy advocates a more environmentally friendly form of production and consumption in which raw materials are kept in production cycles for extended periods of time and can be reused several times. The benefits of such an approach are numerous.
Irresponsible use of resources can lead to severe consequences such as food insecurity, climate change, soil degradation, and biodiversity loss.
Dutch cities are generally praised for the high level of innovations they encourage and implement. The topic of circular economy is no exception. Rotterdam, the second-largest city in the Netherlands, has come up with an ambitious Circularity Programme that aims to completely transform the way natural resources are dealt with in the near future.
The concept of circular economy is based on nature, where everything has value and is put to good use, and waste can simply be converted into a new resource. Cities around Europe are taking major steps in order to make the best use of the limited available resources with the goal of ensuring a more sustainable future. Rotterdam’s 2019-2023 Circularity Programme titled ‘’From trash to treasure’’ reveals the steps this Dutch city intends to take in order to create a waste-free society.
Rotterdam’s ambition is to reduce the amount of main raw materials used in the city by 50% until 2030. The document offers concrete targets, as well as the tools the city intends to employ in order to reach these objectives. The building industry is in the spotlight, primarily because constriction is said to account for more than 60% of all waste in Rotterdam. The city also encourages residents and businesses to contribute by supporting or taking part in circular economy initiatives.
Arno Bonte, Alderman of Sustainability, Air Quality and the Energy Transition stated in the document: ‘’‘The Municipality brings entrepreneurs together to see how we can jointly start projects. We facilitate the infrastructure for material depots and circular meeting places. Together with entrepreneurs, we are also looking at any laws and regulations that may block progress.’’
The city of Rotterdam and Europe’s largest Port of Rotterdam, are largely dependent on primary raw materials. Rotterdam is determined to tackle this issue through a variety of measures which include supporting new business models and raising awareness of the issue, among other things.
Ultimately, Rotterdam plans to close material cycles and become 100% circular by 2050. The city is well aware of the fact that such a crucial change cannot happen overnight, which is why Rotterdam has defined concrete steps to take in the upcoming years.
Rotterdam’s Circularity Program includes two main pathways to achieve by 2023. They include raising awareness of circularity among Rotterdam residents and stimulating employment and economic development in the circular economy. In addition to the construction industry, another three sectors have been identified as crucial on Rotterdam’s circular economy path. These are green streams, consumer goods, and the health sector. Rotterdam’s circular economy strategy suggests enhancing the biodegradable stream, reducing food waste, and reusing green streams more.
Rotterdam has established itself as a dynamic, modern city where innovations and sustainability are always in focus. Thanks to its ambitious circular economy objectives, this Dutch city is now also positioning itself as a role model and inspiration for other cities in the Netherlands and beyond. (photo credit: pikisuperstar/Freepik)
We are on the verge of a climate catastrophe. We can repeat this statement like a mantra. The key issue at present is to develop a network of synergistic connections that will be used to exchange knowledge and experiences on how to effectively counteract climate change and adapt to it.
Mayor of Łódź Hanna Zdanowska