Net Zero Cities: Green cities need green transportation – Greeley Tribune

LOVELAND — Transportation, whether moving people from home to work or goods from the factory to the store, is one of the major generators of greenhouse gas emissions. So for cities to achieve net zero emissions, leaders must face the challenge of making cars, trucks and buses greener.

“We have got to replace every single vehicle out there … our civilization is going to collapse,” New Day Hydrogen LLC chief technology officer Brian DeBruine said.

That replacement means moving from combustion engines to electric vehicles.

“The opportunity to make a difference really lies in the fleet space,” as about a quarter of transportation emissions come from commercial vehicles, Lightning eMotors Inc. sales director Nick Bettis said Wednesday at BizWest’s Net Zero Cities event at the Ranch events complex in Loveland.

Grabbing that opportunity is easier said than done at this point, however, due largely to kinks in the supply chain.

“The demand is out there, but we’re having a hard time getting the parts to move forward,” Bettis said.

Rather than sit idle, Lightning eMotors is taking older vehicles, which don’t require parts built in other parts of the world and shipped to the United States, and electrifying them.

Achieving net zero will take more than electrifying vehicles one at a time. Full fleets need to be modernized. Once electrified, a whole new infrastructure is required to keep them powered up.

EV fleets and their infrastructure feature extremely complex interdependencies, Microgrids Labs co-founder and chief operating officer Namit Singh said.

Prior to about five years ago, there was “no sophisticated software available that will look at the entirety of the system,” he said. Microgrid Labs is changing that.

Of course, it’s not only goods that must be moved around the region, but people too.

Shared Paths Boulder founder Graham Hill stressed the importance of adopting technology to build high-speed trains and monorails.

Locally, there’s no excuse for the lack of a green rail system connecting Colorado Springs with Cheyenne, he said.

“It would be tremendous if we could get a multitude of partners together on this” both private and public all along the Front Range, he said.

Utilities, which provide the electricity to power these transportation systems of the future, have an important role to play in the push toward net zero.

Harnessing electricity during off-peak hours when it’s less expensive would go a long way toward achieving emissions reductions, Poudre Valley REA Inc. energy resources director Tim Ellis said.

This article was first published by BizWest, an independent news organization, and is published under a license agreement. © 2022 BizWest Media LLC.


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