is what our cities are when traffic noise and pollution don't put unnecessary strain on our local environment.
Cities are an attractive place to live. They provide high-quality living, job opportunities, good infrastructure and goods and services as well as many recreational activities. That is why more and more people are moving into our cities. That has an impact on urban traffic. If individual traffic, especially the motorized traffic, were to continue developing the way it has in the past, then more and more cars would take up more and more space and cause more noise, CO₂-emissions and other pollution. This would have a significant impact on our quality of life and negative consequences for the global climate and our health.
There are currently numerous strategies that all have the goal of transforming the traditional car city into a livable cityscape. There will still be a place for cars in it, but their dominance will be reduced significantly. The car will become part of a multimodal, interconnected whole, composed of a high-performance accessible public transportation system, individual vehicles and car sharing options, sustainable commercial traffic as well as bicycles and pedestrians. A city where the car is one means of transportation among many equals is livable, environmentally friendly and opens up new spaces for living and recreation.
Electric vehicles are a crucial component of this mobility development. Locally, they are emissions-free and quieter. They can also be intelligently combined with other means of transport. Additionally they are enabling connectivity between energy production, building utilization and mobility. The homeowner feeds the solar or wind energy that he has generated into the municipal power grid or the energy storage system of the building. The charging stations for the electric vehicles then charge using that electricity. This creates completely new business models and makes an intelligent network control possible. This prevents capacity overload and makes the energy available when needed. Private owners of electric cars can charge their vehicles at numerous publicly accessible charging stations on parking lots intended explicitly for that purpose. It doesn't matter if you are in front of your multi-family home, at work, in a shopping center or outside a cool club: thanks to a smartphone app, you know immediately where the next available charging station is waiting for you.
Just as in the case of individual traffic and car sharing systems, electric mobility will also become an inherent part of local public transport systems. Electric busses are quiet and emissions-free. They can cover their electricity needs by occasionally spending just a few minutes high-speed charging at a bus stop or at the bus depot for longer charging times. In places where busses and trains aren't available, local public transport customers can fall back on electric cars or e-bikes, which take them to the nearest train station and are then available to other users. Intelligent and autonomous means of transport may also bring mobility to areas, which are not currently served by public transportation or only infrequently. Using instead of owning will be the new motto for mobility. The intelligent integration of transportation options on an intermodal platform provides the passenger with a comprehensive and comfortable way to get information about the available options, even on short notice, and to book them and pay for them.
Commercial transport will be unimaginable without electric mobility as well. Small commercial electric vehicles will be used to cover the "last mile" between the distribution centers and shops. This takes place at night, quietly and without traffic congestion and frees the driver from the stressful search for parking. The mailman naturally brings packages using an electric postal truck and those delivering letters have long been using e-bikes. Garbage trucks will be electric as well, allowing them to collect the garbage in whisper-mode even before the city awakens.
Those are only some example for a sustainable and integrated mobility, which will make our cities more livable -- and it is almost here.