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TMC finds you can reduce your ground transport/mobility carbon footprint by more than 50% through modal shift


A recent case study conducted by TMC and validated by Thrust Carbon has analysed thousands of trip inventories of people travelling across Europe in order to draw comparisons on the carbon emissions of an individual using car rental, taxi and own car (including different powertrains; ICE, Hybrid and EV) and an individual using the different available rail options that include national and international, underground and metro.

The study, which came about as part of the testing of the 4C’s algorithm pre-launch of Mobility iQ, was based on a user travelling 5 out of 7 days, 12 hours a week and completing 20,000 miles/30,000 kilometers per annum.

As part of the Paris Agreement’s net zero target by 2050, each person globally must reduce their carbon footprint from an average today of 4.79 tonnes of CO2e. to 2 tonnes of CO2e. For reference, 1 ton of carbon emissions is equal to one hot air balloon, or a return flight from Paris to New York. With this in mind, there are drastic things we need to do as a population in order to get near that target.

To put the challenge we are facing with ground transportation/mobility into context, the case study shows that an ICE vehicle (petrol or diesel) equates to 0.09 tonnes of CO2e. A hybrid vehicle reduces this by 37% to 0.06 tonnes and an EV reduces this further to 0.03 tonnes. In essence, whether you are using your own car or taking a taxi/renting a car here is irrelevant. These figures are according to DEFRA and have been independently validated by Thrust Carbon.

When compared with the average CO2e of the different rail options, there are clear carbon savings. TMC found that compared to ICE vehicles, there’s an 82% difference when using rail. With hybrid, there’s a 72% reduction and with an EV, there’s a 42% reduction.

Based on the case study, the annualised figure of the described user profile who’s predominant method of travel is car, rental and taxi is 4.41 tonnes of CO2e – that’s equivalent to 92% of an individual’s annual average of 4.79 tonnes. This is before any other day-to-day aspects like household energy or food.

Stuart Donnelly, President of Mobility at The Miles Consultancy, stated:

“The real challenge for businesses is how to steer sustainable decision-making when employees move from A to B, as this is conventionally across ground decided by the employee”.

Sustainability continues to be the number one goal on the agendas of global travel managers, as highlighted in the landmark survey by GBTA earlier this year. Alongside this, decarbonisation is key in reducing your carbon footprint and achieving a more sustainable travel program for your company.

Yet for many organisations that run fleets and have sought to decarbonise by looking at transitioning from ICE to EV, TMC findings suggest that this is not enough. We need to increase our utilisation of shared mobility alongside EV transition to achieve the improved reductions in carbon output on the road to net zero. Donnelly went onto say:

“Decarbonising our fleets is not enough to get to net zero and moreover, you cannot decarbonise your suppliers fleets, and the issue is compounded by the fact, you typically cannot steer your employees choice of mode or supplier at point of sale, which unlike air and hotel is commonly the issue with ground transport”.

The Miles Consultancy is currently developing a smart and sustainable mobility super app that will provide the Amazon experience to ground transport and enable corporates to steer employees across modes and suppliers of ground transport through one mobile app. Mobility iQ seeks to transform the current mobility ecosystem, which today is highly fragmented and decentralised with this disruptive technology. First release will be launched in Nov 22.