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Brits think electric cars are the future

Published: 21 January 2020 - Carly Wills

Transport currently accounts for almost a third (30 per cent) of the world’s total energy use and around a quarter of the global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. With climate change high on the news agenda and more consumers than ever making a conscious effort to reduce their carbon footprint, there is no bigger industry that is impacted by this than the travel and motor sector.

As part of itsEnvironmental Innovations series, which looks at how British businesses and consumers are adapting to become more environmentally friendly, innovation specialist MPA looks at the biggest factors that are overhauling the industry.

The rise of electric cars
Research conducted by MPA through YouGov Profiles found that almost two thirds (65 per cent) of Brits agreed that we should drive less to save the environment. But with 31.8 million cars on the UK’s roads, a car-less society seems a very distant memory. One of the most environmentally friendly alternatives is electric cars, which create less greenhouse gas and other emissions than cars powered solely by internal combustion engines. It seems the British public agrees, with the research finding that 69 per cent agree that electric cars are the future of the motor industry.

2018 saw 59,945 sales of electric cars in the UK, a record year according to the SMMT, suggesting that alternative drives are a trend that is set to continue. With an increase in consumer demand, manufacturers will have to innovate in order to keep up. 

Sustainable air travel
Air travel is a huge industry, but unfortunately is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Researching into sustainable fuel alternatives is one way that companies can play a part. British Airways is the latest company to announce plans to invest in this, announcing its initiative to transform household waste into jet fuel for its aircrafts. 

Embracing technology
Technology is also set to be a major contributor in the motor industry’s move to become more environmentally - particularly 5G becoming a part of mainstream life. One in seven (13 per cent) of respondents believe that 5G will be most useful for connected cars and transport, from remote car control to driverless cars. Ericsson is one of the companies using this technological revolution to create a more sustainable business model, as it announced its use of 5G to enhance its sustainable transport system.

John Lowndes, director at MPA said: “The travel and motor sector is one of the industries that has seen the most consumer backlash from the increase in public interest in eliminating climate change, so it is great to see that so many businesses are already investing in innovative ways to be more sustainable. Factors such an increased customer demand for electric cars and more sustainable air travel will definitely help in offsetting carbon footprints and will help the nation in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.”

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