Creating Efficient Transportation By Natasha Vidangos
In the session “Integrating Transportation Efficiency,” speakers discussed the challenge of guiding the transportation sector to provide more equitable access while making it more efficient to avoid increases in climate emissions and congestion. The panelists, which included John Markowitz of NYPA, Brad Stertz of Audi of America, Sheila Watson of FIA Foundation, and Austin Brown of UC Davis, discussed different ways transportation innovations are changing the sector.
A main theme was that electrification of transportation is critical to the future of clean transportation. John Markowitz described how EVs are an enormous opportunity to support the future of the utility industry, and Brad Stertz commented on how electric vehicles are key for the light-duty vehicle industry to achieve higher levels of efficiency. However, the rate of electrification is insufficient, or – as Sheila Watson put it — “EVs will not save us.” As a result, we must consider enhancing efficiencies across other aspects of the transportation sector, including mechanisms to enhance the use of “non-motorized” modes, such as walking and biking. These options can be facilitated by better land use planning, such as urban planning to co-site workplaces and housing. However, such land use planning is inherently difficult, and will require enormous commitment on the part of cities and communities to implement change.