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A Pathway to Sustainable Transportation and Environmental Preservation


Because of the dependencies between transport, economic, and environmental systems, sustainability has become a very important research area in transport. Perceive electric vehicles as eco-sustainable because they are environmentally free from toxic and greenhouse gas emissions. However, few questioned the sustainability of the electricity needed to drive these vehicles. The objective of this research is to present an in-depth study showing that if the current designs of electric vehicle (EV) enough to say that EVs are sustainable transportation or it just the begin for sustainability.


Transportation and mobility are central to sustainable development. Sustainable transportation can enhance economic growth and improve accessibility. Sustainable transport achieves better integration of the economy while respecting the environment. There is an unparalleled increase in interest and willingness by governments and the public in the industrialized countries to develop electric vehicles (EVs). This increase in interest and desire is due to several factors related to life-threatening air pollution in many parts of the world, the high oil price that illustrate in figure 1, Conflicts in oil-producing regions in the Middle East and the unprecedented rise in global warming as a result of the rapid increase in greenhouse gas emissions from all sources, including transport (1).

Whatsapp Global fossil fuel prices from 2000- 2050

The major benefit of Electric Vehicles is that it has zero tailpipe which further mitigate the global emissions of CO2, low engine noise, and higher propulsion efficiency and in the recent years, the government is also concerned about green environmental footprint and aim to be committed to electro mobility, mainly in the urban areas across the globe in order to tackle the serious issue of lack of quality air and environmental pollution. The energy demand and increasing pollution further raise the concern of utilising electric cars in the society in order to meet the demand of the customers. The substitution of the cars which is electric vehicles are advantageous for the society, where the reduction of the greenhouse gas emission is the major advantage of introducing electric cars in the society, thermal power station can also be managed well.

Until now, as an efficient, "green" alternative energy source (fossil fuels), the electric drive has never disappeared completely from the radars. During the infamous oil crisis and proscription of the 1970s, several of the largest US companies, such as Ford, GM, and even Exxon Mobil, were actively looking at electric vehicles (EVs) as a means of reducing dependence on Middle East oil. A few decades of research, however, could not compensate for a half- century of development gap with the ICE and, as the position on the oil market recovered in the 1980s, interest in electric transport disappeared again.

The increase in sales of electric vehicles (EVs) has also been disproportionate in a number of markets in which government agencies and car manufacturers have placed increasing emphasis. Figure 2 presents an overview of light-duty EVs sales by massive market in 2018, which include sales in leading national EVs markets. The majority of electric vehicle (Electric cars) sales are in ten markets, primarily in the China, U.S, Japan and a number of European countries.

Global monthly plug-in sales of Electric vehicle in 2016-2017 and 2018 The Global Plug-in deliveries BEV & PHEV in Electric vehicle

Hereby, it can be stated that, increasing the numbers of electric cars will have positive impacts on the environment, as it helps to decrease the emission of CO2 as well as pollutant air from the road transport. However, the reduction of emission may be offset due to extra emission of the green house for the high demand of the people across the globe and thus it is necessary to increase the use of fossil fuel in the society, so that the net carbon emission can be reduced efficiently in near future. Maximisation of the use of fossil fuel is beneficial for the society to manage the road transport and mitigate the negative environmental footprint in the society in coming years. It is expected that 80% of carbon emission can be managed well within 2050. There is no reduction of demand for the energy and thus it is necessary to manage the alternative use of energy resources n the environment, so that it is possible to protect the environment for the benefits of the social wellbeing.

In the EU 28, total average reduction of CO2 can be conducted by 255Mt, which is equal to 10% reduction of the carbon emission in the society, and it could be reduced further in 2050 according to the European Commission Projections.

 Future changes in CO2 emissions in the energy and road transport sectors

Figure 5 summarises the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for a scenario that builds from near-term government objectives towards widespread deployment of electric vehicles increasingly powered by low-carbon energy sources by 2050. As shown from this analysis, the benefits of electric vehicles in the earlier years are limited by growth in sales of electric vehicles and fleet turnover, but the benefits of climate increase significantly over time. In 2030 the potential emission reductions are 125 million metric tons of CO2, with the large majority of these impacts in China, Europe, and the U.S ' leading electric vehicle markets. As shown, the potential benefits of long-term carbon emissions from electric vehicles will be more dramatic in 2050 at about 1.5 billion metric tons of CO2 per year, with the benefits distributed more globally through 2050.

Global greenhouse gas emission reductions from increased penetration of EVs through 2050

In the recent of globalisation, all the leading economies are trying to support road transport electrifications in order to improve the sustainability and mitigate the negative environmental footprint of high carbon emissions. The countries like India, China, France, Japan and Mexico as well as Netherlands, Sweden, Canada and Norway have joined in the international campaigning of EV30@30 with a common goal of increasing 30% use of the electric vehicles by 2030. There are attractive tax incentives for the countries who are trying to purchase electric vehicles in the society where the countries like France, Netherlands and Finland provide government investment in the infrastructure to improve the use of electric vehicles in the countries. on the other hand, Japan prefer to introduce tax cuts in utilising electric vehicles which in turn helps and motivate the buyers to invest on electric vehicles in long run. The countries together with Brazil also invested for the campaign for supporting the electric vehicles taxation. The states like Mexico and Paris introduced the initiatives to band the cars for internal combustion engines (ICE). The government of London put extra charges for using the city roads.

Electric vehicles state support mechanisms and national goals across the world

History of the electric vehicle

During 1800s, the electric cars have been introduced and the electric motive power started in 1827. Hungarian priest Jedlik designed the first primitive but it is usable electric motors with stator, commentator and rotor. After that, Professor Sibrandus Stratingh of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands has introduced small scale motors for electric cars in the year of 1835. During 1832 and 1839, there is invention of simplistic electric carriage powered by un-chargeable primary cells by Scotland's Robert Anderson. Thomas Davenport invented a toy electric locomotive powered by a primitive electric motor in 1835. Additionally, William Morrison is famous for inventing first popular electric cars, who is the chemist in Des Moines, Lowa and the invention has been made during the year of 1890. The six passenger electric cars with high speed of 14 miles per hour was introduced which further influence others to make effective purchase decision for the electric vehicles.

In the early 1900s in America, the first mass-produced electric vehicles appeared. "Studebaker Automobile Company" entered the automotive business with electric vehicles in 1902, although in 1904 it also entered the market for gasoline vehicles. Electric cars, however, dropped to the wayside with the introduction of inexpensive assembly line cars by Ford. The UK was the largest producer of hybrid road vehicles in the world by the 20th century. When highways were strengthened, electric vehicles could not cope with the ICE outside of urban areas. Finally, the introduction of Henry Ford's mass production of petrol-powered vehicles in 1913 dramatically reduced the cost of petrol cars relative to electric cars (7).

Thomas Edition, who was the most prolific inventors in the world, provided an overview about the superiority of the electric cars technology where the technology is appropriate to develop effective electric cars in the environment which would be possible to mitigate the environmental negative footprint in the society. In 1914, according to Wired and Henry Ford, who is the friend of Edison, stated that it, becomes more important to develop low cost electric vehicles in the market in order to develop effective technology and protect the environment from pollution.

It was the mass-produced Model T of Henry Ford that struck the electric car with a blow. The Model T was launched in 1908, making cars powered by gasoline widely available and affordable. By 1912, the car cost only $650, while a roadster sold for $1,750. Charles Kettering introduced the electric starter that same year, eliminating the need for a hand crank and giving rise to more sales of gasoline-powered vehicles (8).

The design concept and construction of electricity-powered automobiles is by no means new. Effective research and development of electric vehicles to substitute gasoline-powered vehicles traced back to the early 1970s in the midst of the first, but short-lived, energy crisis in this country caused by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel's coercive control of oil supply and cost. There was a strong desire by the automotive industry to produce non-gasoline-powered vehicles in this country, and electric vehicle is among the industry's top choice. Unfortunately, soon after consumers accepted the high price of petroleum as a "fact-of-life," this desire decreased (9). In 1996, the General Motor Corporation pioneered the design and construction of the EV1 battery-powered vehicle in response to the renewed public interest. Unfortunately, the consumer never actually caught the EV1 vehicle. Three years later, it was banned from the marketplace. As described in a well-publicized documentary film on "Who Killed the Electric Car"(9).

The breakthrough is made in the 2000s when Toyota releases the ‘Toyota Prius’, a hybrid electric vehicle that utilizes both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. With gas prices increasing in the recent years along with raising environmental concerns, both consumers and manufacturers are becoming progressively interested in electric and hybrid cars. Currently, many of the major car manufacturers possess at least one model of all-electric or hybrid-electric vehicle.

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Studies have tried to better understand and quantify electric vehicle energy consumption from various perspectives. Boschmann and Kwan (10) evaluated study on Socially Sustainable Urban Transportation and asserted that how urban transportation affects social sustainability achievement in urban areas, including social exclusion, social equity and quality of life.

Delucchi and Kurani (11) are suggesting a sustainable transport network that tackles the various problems which are caused by motor vehicles, while allowing the people to maintain the advantages of auto mobility where there is a change that the suburban can line with low density. it can be stated that, high “high kinetic energy” is required by the modern motor vehicles where it is necessary to analyse the impacts of heavy motor vehicles as ether are various issues associated with the motor vehicles such as air pollution, traffic congestion as well as traffic accident, bad street aesthetics, social fragmentation, fossil fuel reliance and global warming.

Jeon et al. (12) demonstrated the application of the decision-making approach to multiple criteria to evaluate the selection of transport and land use plans in the Atlanta region using multiple sustainability and economic sustainability, where sustainability index must be considered during the transportation planning to support the tool for achieving the predetermined goal.

Zhang and Yao (13) suggested that, Electric vehicles approach is suitable and it is a signalised intersection which can estimate the energy consumption under various control strategy. Their model lacks to capture the function’s complexity and the scheme to free driving activities and interactions with other drivers.

By evaluating both battery degradation and driving behaviour, Wu and Lee (14) produced an approach to evaluate the driving range more accurately. Four driving behaviour groups, characterised by a speed slot vector and a relative percentage of energy consumption, were clustered according to an unattended machine-learning approach (growing self-organizing hierarchical maps).

Hu and Tim Tis (3), introduced an exploratory EV driving behaviour experiment that was undertaken in the context of Beijing to understand the variation of EV energy efficiency among various drivers. This research explores how driving behaviour, personal driving styles, traffic conditions and infrastructure design affect and shape the energy efficiency of EVs in the real world. Nissan LEAF tests were conducted under a typical driving cycle on the Beijing road network to improve the understanding of energy efficiency variations among drivers in different urban traffic.

Kapustin and Grushevenko (4), developed a study to quantify the worldwide success of electric vehicles and their economic effects on global warming. A comprehensive comparison between traditional fuel vehicles and electric vehicles was developed. The findings of our calculations suggest that the EVs will capture a 11-28 percent share of the global road transport fleet by 2040, depending on the scenario. This will result in an additional 11 to 20 percent increase in global electricity consumption.

Comparison between different types of Electric vehicles

There are three main types of electric vehicles (EVs), which are categorized by the degree to which electricity is used as their source of energy. Electric battery vehicles (BEV), electric hybrid plug-in (PHEVs), and electric hybrid vehicle (HEV) Even BEVs can charge easily on a level 3, DC system.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV)

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) is the electric vehicles, which can be charged through rechargeable battery without any gasoline engine. Electric battery cars contain high capacity of battery packs which are in good quality to drive by using its power. The battery electric cars are charged from the external sources and there are no dangerous hazards from the gasoline powered vehicles.

Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers are classified by the speed with which an EVs battery is charged.BEV Examples that can charge on DC Level 3 Fast Chargers such as BMW i3, Chevy Bolt, Chevy Spark, Nissan LEAF, Hyundai Ioniq, Ford Focus Electric, Kia Soul, Karma Revera, Tesla Model S, Tesla X, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Toyota Rav4 Tesla Model 3, and Volkswagen e-Golf. (15)

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles are also effective, where the battery cars can reconnect the battery to the external sources of electric power through plug in while standard hybrid which helps to go 1-2 miles before the gasoline engines turns on. The PHEV model is effective, where the cars can go 10-14 miles before the gasoline engines. the example of PHEV are such as Chrysler Pacifica, Chevy Volt, Ford Fusion Energy, Hyundai Sonata Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid, Ford C-Max Energy, Mercedes C350e, Mini Cooper SE Countryman, Audi A3 E-Tron, Mercedes S550e, Mercedes GLE550e, BMW i8, BMW X5 xdrive40e, BMW 330e, Fiat 500e, Kia Optima, Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Toyota Prius and Volvo XC90 T8.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV)

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) cars are powered both by the electricity and gasoline. In order to recharge the battery, the cars have own braking system and it is called as regenerative braking, which is an effective mechanism in which the electric cars can brakes the energy to transfer it to electricity. HEVs are efficient to utilise the electric motors and the gasoline engine are not utilised for managing the sustainability of the cars. The examples of the HEVs are such as Toyota Prius Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda Civic Hybrid.

Table 1: Comparison between conventional and electric vehicle in 2018 (4).

Comparison between conventional and electric vehicle in 2018


Transportation is responsible for over a quarter of the global carbon emissions so it clearly needs a reboot. The question, though, is what’s the best way forward? Public transport or individual electric cars or both? Fast trains or flexible systems based on shared use?

It is very important to say that no car is ever going to be 100% safe or renewable. The electric vehicle's arrival doesn't change that. What we're suggesting is that an electric vehicle is the best choice for the world if you really need to use a vehicle. Nonetheless, it will always be much better for the environment to use public transport or just walking or cycling to work. A car is still a car; it will not solve transport problems such as congestion by replacing one with another type.

Electric motors are actually more efficient than gasoline engines, and they end up using more of the electricity in the batteries to drive the car. Electric vehicles consume less energy especially when driving in cities. There are also absolutely no tailpipe emissions of air pollutants including nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. They still get debris from braking and tire fatigue, but there's less than a diesel or gas car in general. Electric vehicles can also bring down noise, particularly when they are less noisy than traditional vehicles at lower speeds.

Health-wise, air quality is the main benefit. You will still have some air pollution from the energy that goes into electric cars, but this usually comes from power stations that could have stronger pollution controls than you could in a conventional car and are generally situated well away from densely populated areas.

The main purpose of a safe and effective transport system is not simply to get you in record time from point A to point B. The goal should be to consider real human needs as a well-integrated part of various modes of urban living. In many cities around the world, car-free zones like those in Barcelona and bikes as the main mode of transport are increasingly becoming the latest green norm.

In the long term, having fewer cars on the streets and a system that focuses on quality of life rather than speed can lead to richer social interactions, fewer road accidents, better community ties, more living space and many other benefits. While the future might surely spare some space for personal cars, electric ones included, their significance may be lower than automakers would like to assume. A different future with fewer cars is both feasible and possible.

In the future, a large proportion of electric vehicles on European highways will have consequences for the network for electricity generation and delivery. The introduction of the additional demand for electricity faces a variety of problems. It is important for the road and energy sectors to be more closely linked and for policy and investment decisions to be closely integrated across both sectors.

Electric vehicles are just one way Europe can push towards a more resource-efficient economy and a decarbonised mode of transport. Replacing traditional cars with electric vehicles can help to reduce pollution, but how much it does depends heavily on the power source used to charge vehicles. If we focus on UK as a case study, we will find that there is an increase in contamination of the automobile industry by two third from the brake, tires and road bust and it is disclosed by the UK government in the July, 2019. A study conducted in the UK stated that, the electric vehicles are effective to manage the reduction of the carbon emission by 40% and for which there is demand for the electric vehicles in the country in order to maintain the environmental sustainability.

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The benefits related to electric or diesel cars are questionable. (According to official British government reports, the most effective European market vehicles are well below 115 grams of CO2 per kilometre driven, although a report in Scotland offered 149.5 g CO2 per kilometre as the average for new cars in the United Kingdom) But because UK customers can choose their energy suppliers, it also depends on how' green' their chosen provider is when it comes to grid electricity. Unlike other countries, nuclear, coal and gas plants produce a stable proportion of electricity in the UK. Therefore, the environmental impact over the year is only slightly different (16).


Transportation is responsible for more than a quarter of global carbon emissions, so it needs a restart. There are various advantages of utilising the electric vehicles in the rennet era of globalisation, where using electric vehicles are sustainable decision for the people to protect the natural resources and mitigate the issue of global warming. Timing is the factors that have divergent speculation and at the moment, only one of the 250 cars on the road is electric vehicle. Introduction of the creative electric cars further enhance the demand of the customers and there is 2.1% increase in the auto sales, where about 2 million passengers are using the vehicles. It is expected that, the use of electric vehicles is increasing at a rapid rate and it hits millions in neat years to replace the fuel vehicles. The current position of the electric vehicles and government investment and cooperation towards the use of the vehicles further enhance the people to make effective decision to utilise the electric vehicles for managing the environmental sustainability across the globe.


  • 1.International Energy Agency, “Global EV Outlook: understanding the electric vehicle landscape to 2020,” 2013.
  • 2.Kitous, Alban & Keramidas, Kimon & Vandyck, T & Saveyn, Bert & Dingenen, Van & Spadaro, Joe & Holland, Mike. (2017). Global Energy and Climate Outlook 2017: How climate policies improve air quality. Global energy trends and ancillary benefits of the Paris Agreement. 10.2760/474356.
  • 3.Kezhen Hu, Jianping Wu and Tim Schwanen,(2017). “Differences in Energy Consumption in Electric Vehicles: An Exploratory Real-World Study in Beijing”, Journal of Advanced Transportation.
  • 4.Nikita O. Kapustin, Dmitry A. Grushevenko,( 2019) Long-term electric vehicles outlook and their potential impact on electric grid, Energy Policy,.
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  • 6.Guarnieri, M. (2012). Looking back to electric cars. Proc. HISTELCON 2012 – 3rd Region-8 IEEE HISTory of Electro – Technology CONference: The Origins of Electrotechnologies. pp. 1–6. doi:10.1109/HISTELCON.2012.6487583.
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  • 9.Tai-Ran Hsu, ASME Fellow, ‘’On the Sustainability of Electrical Vehicles’’. Proceedings of Green Energy and Systems Conference 2013, November 25, Long Beach, CA, USA.
  • 10.Boschmann, E.E., kwan, M.P., (2008). Toward socially sustainable urban transportation: progress and potentials. Int. J. Sustain. Transp. 2, 138–157.
  • 11.Delucchi, M., and Kurani, K. (2013). “Can we have sustainable transportation without making people drive less or give up suburban living?” J. Urban Plann. Dev., 10.1061/(ASCE)UP.1943-5444.0000172, 04014008.
  • 12.Jeon, C.M., Amekudzi, A.A., Guensler, R.L.,( 2010). Evaluating plan alternatives for transportation system sustainability: atlanta metropolitan region. Int. J. Sustain. Transp. 4, 227–247.
  • 13.R. Zhang and E. Yao,(2015) “Eco-driving at signalised intersections for electric vehicles,” IET Intelligent Transport Systems, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 488–497.
  • 14.C.-H. Lee and C.-H. Wu, (2015) “A Novel Big Data Modeling Method for Improving Driving Range Estimation of EVs,” IEEE Access, vol. 3, pp. 1980–1993.
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  • 16.Online website: 25.

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