Transportation (mobility fuels) accounts for 51% of our communities’ carbon pollution from community members. That means it’s more than all other emissions combined. Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to make transportation 100% renewable!
People, goods, and services moving around the West Kootenays will generate no carbon pollution. Everyone can get to work, school, child care, and medical appointments regardless of income.
The plan includes three strategies for communities to transition to 100% renewable transportation:
- Electrify Personal Vehicles: make it easier to use electric vehicles for day to day errands
- Shift beyond the Car: Make it easier and faster to travel by bike, bus, foot, wheelchair, etc.
- Decarbonize Commercial Vehicles: Make it easier to use commercial vehicles powered by electricity, renewable natural gas, or other renewable sources of energy.
Electrify Personal Vehicles
Over the next 10 years, switching to electric vehicles can make a bigger impact on community energy use than any other pathway. Personal vehicles are likely to remain an important mode of transportation for people in the West Kootenay region
Ridesharing and car sharing technologies and improved grid reliability can help more people take advantage of electric vehicles.
Many people will prefer to wait for electric vans, trucks, and SUVS to be available
People who receive less reliable electricity service may need gas/electric hybrids
Health: Replacing conventional vehicles with zero emissions vehicles reduces air pollution, which can impact people with asthma and heart disease. Reduced traffic noise improves sleep and lowers stress.
Economic Strength: Switching to Electric Vehicles keeps energy dollars in our community and saves money for users.
Community Resilience: Electric-powered transportation allows West Kootenay residents to use locally-produced hydro- and solar electricity. Residents can charge their cars with their own solar panels and increase their energy independence.
Shift Beyond the Car
- Public and active transportation are widely used in many communities. Increased convenience, safety and comfort can increase usership.
- For people who need cars for some of their trips, park-and-ride facilities and ridesharing services can reduce the number of trips and the length of car trips.
- Advances in battery technology are dramatically changing the way that people use bikes, scooters, carts, skateboards, and other personal mobility devices.
Health: Walking, cycling, and other modes of active transportation improves physical health which can lead to a reduction in heart disease, diabetes, and cancers. Regular exercise is also connected to an improvement in mental health including reduced depression and anxiety. Reduced car traffic makes streets safer for other users.
Economy: Active transportation supports local shops and stores. Public transportation provides local jobs in driving vehicles and maintaining fleets. Fewer car miles travelled means less local tax money is spent on road maintenance.
Community Resilience: Fewer cars on the streets makes more room for other uses, including other forms of transportation as well as patios, outdoor art installations, and street fairs. Public and active transportation promote social interaction and build community cohesion.
Update Official Community Plans and zoning bylaws to create incentives for public and active transportation connections
Create multi-mode park-and-ride facilities and all-access paths and routes
Deliver education and incentives programs for public and active transportation
Currently the plan does not forecast a reduction in carbon pollution from Commercial Vehicles. Electric Commercial Vehicles (including pickup trucks, vans, SUVs, and delivery vehicles) are not widely available at this time.
Electric long-haul trucks and vans will probably emerge in the next 5-10 years.
It is possible to convert diesel trucks to use compressed renewable natural gas, but the supply of renewable natural gas is very small.
By taking action to electrify vehicles and move beyond the car, the West Kootenay Region can avoid 1.2 million tonnes of carbon pollution, which is about as much greenhouse gas as 511 million litres of gasoline.
Want to learn more about renewable transportation? Download and read the full report!