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Planning for e-mobility using the SUMP approach

Mobility and Energy ecosystem shown as a looped system

Because of the specific planning challenges faced to develop and implement an electric mobility strategy, a special addendum – what I called a “plug-in” – has been developed for the SUMP.

Front cover of the Electrification topic guide When the more general SUMPs guidelines were developed in 2013, electrification had not yet really taken off, which is why it did not feature prominently in the documents back then. This is why in 2019, a specific guide for the electrification of road transport in cities was published. A further update is currently being prepared.

Let me quickly show you how it adds to the more general approach for “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans”, especially these four aspects:

  • Don’t approach electrification as competing with the other elements of the SUMP – they must be a cross-cutting part of the solutions, not a competing alternative or extra layer.
  • At the planning stage, it is essential to look beyond the mobility ecosystem and link it with the energy ecosystem. This includes a decision on the level of public and private involvement. This includes a decision on who will fund and run the charging infrastructure, for which there are different models. The International Council on Clean Transportation has recently published a very useful overview of the planning and implementation approaches in European cities.
  • This also requires a closer look at the different user groups and their needs, which may not all have been considered in the SUMP, as they should guide the planning and implementation of infrastructure and the allocation of scarce public space.
  • Specific indicators and more frequent monitoring are needed: General SUMPs may not include specific targets for infrastructure, vehicles and how to deal with space and affordability considerations. Also, the e-mobility environment has been extremely dynamic over the past few years. This means have specific indicators that are updated more frequently are useful. Examples of such indicators are: the number of electric vehicles (ideally per vehicle category) and their share in the total fleet, the number of charging points compared to the size of the fleet of electric vehicles.
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Electrification of Urban Mobility: How to Get it Right

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