Ecological road transportation: The 3 great challenges

Transporte por carretera ecológico / Ecological Road Transportation 01
Reconciling road transportation and the environment is one of the greatest challenges of the XXIst century.
(Fuente: Max Hoy /10841111 pexels.com)

Is it possible to have ecological road transportation? The logistical industry is constantly growing, and this growth has a massive impact on the environment. Actions are being taking to stop atmospheric pollution. But what exactly needs to be done?

The ecological transition in transportation is crucial both for the industry and the planet. For this reason, today we are looking into the three main challenges that need to be faced:

Key points:

  • Transportation is a highly contaminating industry, but it’s essential for other industries to work.
  • We don’t yet have the technology to reduce vehicle pollution into acceptable levels.
  • Even once we get the technology, we will still need massive investments to fully realize the changes.

First challenges of the ecological road transportation: Limiting the energy consumption of transportation

While back inthe 1960s, road transportation used to consume around 9 million tons of oil. Nowadays, they are using around 50 million tons.

It’s obvious that transportation, specially road transportation, is a key component of energy consumption in Europe. Between 1960 and 2000, greenhouse gases have become six time higher, and transportation is mostly to blame for this.

Transporte por carretera ecológico / Ecological Road Transportation 02
Traffic keeps on growing every year.
(Fuente: Stan /191842 Pexels.com)

Even if we have technologies that can help reduce this growth, they haven’t extended to the whole industry yet. Fining the emissions is simply not a viable solution, since transportation is essential for the rest of the industries to work. Without a very strong investment that allows fleets to be updated, it is currently impossible to reach the environmental goals countries have agreed for 2050.

Second challenge of the ecological road transportation: Investing in clean transports

We are already seeing cleaner vehicles circulating on our cities. 100% electrical cars and buses are already helping reduce pollution within our cities. Why are we not doing the same with road transportation?

Simply put, changing the transports is not that easy. Amazon may be able to have an electrical van to move packages from a nearby storehouse, but if you need to move many tons of cargo along hundreds of kilometers, we really don’t have a viable alternative to a traditional truck. Each vehicle has a function, and it’s not always easy to adapt said function to be more environmentally friendly.

This doesn’t mean that will never see alternatives. Check our article on the transport of the future to see what new transportation technologies might bring us soon.

Third challenge of ecological road transportation: New energies

Lastly, energy saving will also come with technological progress. No matter how much we reduce energy consumption, our reliance on oil will keep on being a problem for making ecological road transportation.

Transporte por carretera ecológico / Ecological Road Transportation 02
The current renewable energies are not a viable alternative to combustion engines yet.

Investigations on new energies, such as the hydrogen battery, might bring us a chance for cleaner consumption.

Summary:

At the end of the day, the main concern is of cost. Making hydrogen motors will be of little help, if we can’t change are logistics to this new reality. Governments will have to prove their true commitment to the environment, betting on public investment on the transportation industry. Until then, ecological road transportation will simply not be viable.

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