This is a new interview, as part of ELVITEN interview series, in which we present ELVITEN partner – EMISIA, their role and contribution to the project implementation, as well as their view on urban mobility.
Enjoy the reading!
EMISIA S.A. was established in February 2008 as a spin-off company of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) and the management team consists of previous members of the Laboratory of Applied Thermodynamics (LAT). The company specialises in the areas of emission data collection and analysis, emission inventorying and modelling, software development for emissions calculations and inventories, and impact assessment studies of transport and environmental policies. EMISIA staff consists of mechanical, electrical and software engineers with a strong scientific background in the areas of transport emissions and environmental pollution. The expertise of the team has been built in several projects funded by either the public or the private (industrial) sectors. In addition, the personnel have been involved in several studies related to the formulation of environmental policy at European level. EMISIA researchers have developed and use specialised methodologies for the estimation of technological development in vehicle fleets and the calculation of pollutant emissions from transport.
EMISIA undertakes impact assessment studies for the transport sector, related to technological and legislative measures in local, urban, national or international level. The company is also involved in the collection of CO2 monitoring data for passenger cars, vans, and trucks, as part of their services for EEA, and has ample experience from involvements in the review of air pollutant emission inventories submitted under both CLRTAP and the NECD and the GHG inventories submitted to UNFCCC. The most recognised tool of EMISIA is COPERT, a widely used model by many European countries for road transport emission inventories. This software tool is supported by the European Environment Agency and the Joint Research Centre, while it has been developed, maintained and constantly updated by EMISIA. COPERT is also supported by reliable and up-to-date vehicle fleet and activity road transport data that EMISIA actively maintains and updates; this data is ready to be used in air pollutant and GHG emission calculations, being one of the most detailed and precise database of road transport data in the EU. Finally, EMISIA personnel has been developing software for inventorying of emission sources at a national level, including calculations with the EMEP/EEA Guidebook on emission inventories, reporting over GIS maps, presentation of temporal profiles of road transport activity and other functions.
EMISIA and ELVITEN
The main responsibility of EMISIA in the ELVITEN project is to perform an environmental analysis in order to investigate the impact of more EL-Vs entering into the fleet of European cities in the future in replacement of conventional (ICE) vehicles. EMISIA is also responsible for the coordination of the cost-benefit analysis in order to scale-up the impacts on a city level, quantify costs and benefits from the usage of EL-Vs and come up with conclusions and recommendations for their potential market uptake. Going into more details about the environmental analysis, EMISIA studies and quantifies the impact from: i) air pollutant and GHG emission savings coming from the usage of EL-Vs instead of ICE vehicles, ii) sound emission (noise) savings, and iii) Well-To-Tank (WtT) CO2 emissions from the electricity production needed for the charging of EL-Vs.
The monetised benefits are summarised for each ELVITEN city and are compared against the costs associated with the introduction of more EL-Vs. EMISIA joined ELVITEN because this project was considered as a very interesting opportunity for the company, which is in an excellent position to carry out the assignments and responsibilities undertaken in the framework of this project. ELVITEN promotes green, electric urban mobility with the usage of EL-Vs instead of conventional (ICE) vehicles and EMISIA has a strong interest in this topic, which can have a significant environmental impact on the transport sector at European level in the future. Hence, EMISIA can provide the long established experience and understanding of L-category vehicle technology and the environmental performance of these vehicles in order to assist in drawing reliable conclusions and recommendations for their market uptake.
Transport, EL-Vs and electromobility
Transport connects people, cultures, cities, countries and continents. It is one of the main pillars of modern society and global economy. At the same time, it is responsible for a significant part of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions and causes air and noise pollution and habitat fragmentation. Hence, one of the main targets of the EU is to turn Europe’s carbon-dependent transport sector into a clean and smart mobility system. At the moment, however, transport in Europe remains very dependent on oil because Europeans of all age groups remain firmly attached to their ICE vehicles. Public transportation, despite improvement, has done little to persuade them otherwise and reduce emissions. While it remains a valid approach for emissions reductions, the question of how to encourage Europeans towards greener transport modes is also significant. Another policy direction is the usage of cleaner fuels which, together with higher fuel efficiency, can help reduce the environmental and health impacts of transport to an acceptable degree. Common standards and an extensive fuelling infrastructure need to be developed to encourage a wider uptake of cleaner fuels. Car buyers/users are more likely to choose alternatively fuelled vehicles when they feel confident that they can easily recharge or fuel their car without the risk of running out of fuel on the road.
Concerning the impact of EL-Vs on urban mobility, we believe that these vehicles will be in the interest of legislators, policy makers, and vehicle manufactures for many years in the future. Due to the high urbanisation level in European cities, there are often traffic and air quality problems; and EL-Vs with their small size and electric powertrain can play a significant role in the gradual modification of citizen’s habits and ways of movement and transportation. Overall, we believe that transport electrification is expected to significantly contribute towards achieving EU environmental targets at urban level.
Electromobility in general can be a significant component of a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) for each city, promoting environmental-friendly mobility patterns with emphasis on low (or zero) emission vehicles, combined with the creation of the necessary supporting infrastructure for their operation (i.e. charging stations for the electric vehicles). Many municipalities in Greece have already started promoting the usage of EL-Vs with the necessary legal framework, incentives and additional measures in order to facilitate and increase their usage. These measures include for example exemption from various fees (such as circulation fees, registration and luxury taxes) and free access to specific areas. However, it is acknowledged that the most significant measure in order to speed up the market uptake of electric vehicles is to provide financial incentives for the purchase of new vehicles.