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Bringing the electrification puzzle together: the analytical grid

This article introduces the analytical grid to structure your electrification approach.

There are a wide range of electrification solutions. So many, that it may be overwhelming to start looking at them. I’d like to introduce a matrix that I think will be useful.

This matrix (grid) looks at how mobility solutions can be combined with electrification solutions.

The first dimension will look very familiar to many of you, as it captures the “holy trinity” of mobility policies: avoid transport, shift transport to other modes, and improve the performance of each.

Avoid Shift Improve
Avoid Shift Improve

The second dimension is similar, but specifically looks at energy: you can eliminate the use of energy, reduce it, or shift fully to renewable energy.

Eliminate Reduce Renewable
Eliminate Reduce Renewable

When combined, a 3×3 grid is formed:

  Avoid Shift Improve
Eliminate Avoid / Eliminate Shift / Eliminate Improve / Eliminate
Reduce Avoid / Reduce Shift / Reduce Improve / Reduce
Renewable Avoid / Renewable Shift / Renewable Improve / Renewable

Example

Let me show you some examples for the different combinations:

Screenshot of the grid below

  Avoid Shift Improve
Eliminate Spatial planning to avoid physical movement Shift from motorized transport to walking Currently, there is no such technology available in my view
Reduce e-commerce Shift from motorized transport to public transport- Electric car instead of a car with an internal combustion engine
Renewable e-ecommerce with electric delivery vehicles Shift from motorized transport to public transport powered by renewables Electric car powered by renewable energy

We will use this grid to provide a systematic way to map, assess and compare options for electrification.

Activity

To get started, see what examples of electrification you can already find in your city and where they would be in this grid.

Think of 3 examples of electrification in your city that you are already aware of, and try to categorise them in the grid.

A downloadable version of the grid is available below.

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Electrification of Urban Mobility: How to Get it Right

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