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Tesla, BMW and Renault are some of the companies that bet on models with greater autonomy and easier to recharge. Although the price of these cars is still higher than that of combustion vehicles, the demand is growing and today 1 in every 160 cars in Europe is electric. Governments are also seeking a reconversion of public and cargo transport that is more friendly to the environment and in which automatic vehicles, that is, without a driver, gain space.
With the motto of achieving "green and inclusive transportation", the tenth edition of the forum was held, an event dependent on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in which politicians and industry figures participated, under the I sponsor 22 companies, from Uber to Google, through IBM, Volvo and Ford. There were 1,077 participants from 71 countries. José Viegas, secretary general of the forum, recalled that transport is responsible for a quarter of the carbon emissions on the planet. "The challenge is to reduce carbon emissions without sacrificing the accessibility and opportunities that transportation offers," he said.
In the forum, there was consensus that to achieve this goal it is necessary to stimulate the shared use of cars and public transport and make electric cars massive. “Our generation will be remembered as the one that has made giant strides in clean transportation. We have to move fast, ”said Maros Sefcovic, vice president of the Energy Union, the European body that seeks to reduce the greenhouse effect.
“In the future cars will be shared,” said Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar, today the world's largest car-sharing company. “There is no longer space in cities for cars to be occupied by just one person. And we have the technology to make car sharing easy and simple. We have to rethink how public space is used and we have to put single-occupant cars in a secondary position in traffic, ”Chase emphasized.
Claire Martin, vice president of Social Responsibility of the Renault group, pointed out that the automakers are committed to reducing the carbon footprint 3.3% per year, which implies a reduction of 10.1 million tons of CO2. Today 30% of the materials they use are recyclable and they seek to reach 33% in 2016. “The solution for ecology is electric vehicles that have zero emissions. In Europe in 2011 there were 1 in 1,000, today there is 1 in 160, ”he said.
The focus of the automakers points towards electric vehicles and also towards the so-called driveless, which do not need a driver. Martin pointed out that the technology to create these cars already exists and said they could be ready by 2020 if the corresponding government approvals are obtained. And he also pointed out that automakers cannot fall asleep on this, as there are other players, such as Apple and Google, willing to enter this market. "My conclusion is that the future of transportation is electric, economic and shared cars," he said.
Although electric cars are more expensive than traditional ones, the demand is increasing. Depending on the car model, the type of use and the cost of electricity in each country, charging an electric car is between 3 and 4 times cheaper than filling the tank with a combustion engine. And the automakers are working to make the electric charge faster and faster - today there are superchargers that refuel the car in 20 minutes - and so that the units have increasing autonomy.
Germany is the largest car manufacturer in the world and will allocate 1,200 million euros to install charging stations for these vehicles every 30 kilometers. Thus, that country seeks to have a total of 15,000 stations by 2020.
One of the presentations that attracted the most interest was that of Tesla, the company created by Elon Musk, the new darling of the technology industry. Last April the Tesla 3 was presented, the model that seeks to give the electric car massiveness. The estimated price will be US $ 35,000, it will have 350 kilometers of autonomy and will only hit the streets in 2017. For the market, the arrival of the Tesla 3 could have an impact similar to that of the iPhone. Today Tesla has a waiting list of 400,000 buyers who paid $ 1,000 to qualify for that vehicle next year. To supply the demand, they are building a mega-factory in Reno, Nevada, with an investment of US $ 5 billion. And they have plans to install another plant in China in 2019.