Mobility 2050/Lightweight Electromobility

The Rise of Lightweight Electromobility edit

The need has arisen for more cost effective electric vehicles due to the scarcity of the battery minerals as well as environmental and ethical concerns. With the enormous risks that are associated with the rise of global warming, keeping this temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius has risen to the forefront of the public mind. Finding more efficient ways for Electric Vehicles (EV’s), and more specifically Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV’s) to best utilize the resources available is vital for the future of 2050, as an e-bike may only have a 5 lbs battery compared to the 1,000 lbs battery in some EV’s. The vision for the future of electromobility will be a public and governmental switch toward lightweight electromobility in cities and a change in infrastructure and regulations to mitigate climate change.

The State of Electromobility edit

The US Department of Transportation describes electromobility as “any small, low-speed, electric-powered transportation device, including electric-assist bicycles, electric scooters…” and more.[1] The benefits of current electromobility are that the upfront capital cost of the vehicles are less than other BEV’s while also providing a range to the user of 20 up to hundreds of miles. These ranges depend upon the specifics of the micro mobility vehicles but typically vary due to vehicle size, charging time, and other factors involved.[1] Nonetheless these vehicles are able to transport their user across a city in the same way that a traditional car would be able to.

Feasibility of Expansion edit

The Netherlands has been at the forefront of the switch to lightweight mobility, as in 2019 bicycle’s made up 27% of all trips made in the country.[2] They have been able to achieve this based on implementation of government incentives and subsidies, an investment of charging infrastructure, policy initiatives, an integration of public transport, and changing social values of the public. To achieve these goals the public must be able to accept the responsibility and the necessity for the growth of electromobility as an alternative form of transportation. The most popular explanation for why the Netherlands was able to accomplish this feat and America could never do something like this is, ‘well the Netherlands is smaller than the United States, with less people.’ To this we propose the facts of the situation and raise our own question: the population of the Netherlands is larger than all but 4 states in the US (and double the population of all but 12)[3], so if a country the size of the Netherlands can accomplish this, why can’t a state like New Jersey? Blanket enforcement across the US most likely is not the solution to the evolution of micro mobility, but control on a state and local level would make this transition more manageable. This emphasis will come as the public responsibility shifts even more to keeping the global temperatures below that 2 degrees mark.

The Future of Electromobility edit

The future of electromobility is one that comes in many shapes and sizes, with varying technological advancements that will propel lightweight electric travel into mainstream use. Already these advancements can be seen as the design of these vehicles have been retrofitted to better fit the user’s needs. Lightweight and foldable E-bikes allow for more convenient storage and transportation for people of all demographics and the same can be said for personal and foldable E-scooters.[4] Another future for lightweight mobility is using eco-friendly material in batteries and developing a solar charging system to power the vehicles.[5] Additionally swappable battery systems for e scooters would provide convenient power boosts when traversing a city when stopping to charge is not an optimal solution.[6] The future of travel can take on many of these new forms that are convenient for the consumer as well as beneficial to the environment.

Obstacles edit

Given that the future we wish to progress towards de-emphasizes personal motor vehicle transport in favor of small-scale personal electromobility, how can we construct a plan to make sufficient progress towards this goal by the year 2050? The Netherlands have become a modern day success story, and provided a foundation for the future we wish to see in 2050, but it's naive to assume that the template that allowed for the Netherlands to succeed in this right can be copy-pasted to cities all over the world. There are various barriers ranging from political, cultural, economic, and environmental that will slow the adoption of large scale electromobility. In the U.S. these manifest in the lagging of construction progress brought on by the two-party system, the vast difference in job requirements accompanying different locations, the innate ties motor vehicle based industries have to the national government, the large range of climates the country encloses, and many more. These obstacles are not insurmountable, but important to consider while visualizing the future.

Implementation edit

Taking these factors into account, the first steps towards our future will begin with public outcry. The U.S. has the most annual car crash deaths by far, and these numbers continue to increase as the years progress.[7] As driving becomes less safe, the American people will call upon their government to change their transportation system. This will start with small scale city-level laws and projects, such as bike lane construction, public transportation spending, and even current policy in New York set to minimize vehicle idling by allowing citizens to record vehicles idling and recover part of the cost of the ticket.[8] As such laws and projects sweep across the nation, the economic power of companies such as General Motors will lessen due to the population seeking alternative methods of transportation. This will diminish the amount of lobbying they can do, which will free up the government to take more direct action. At this point, city planners and public transportation exerts will be contracted by the government to inspect our current city layouts. They will work in tandem with lightweight EV companies such as Lyme and VEO to provide alternatives to driving in major cities. Because all major cities are different, these projects will have to be customized based on many factors. Ferries can be used in cities cut by rivers. Trollies can be used in cities with mild climates. Metro networks can be used in cities that are too large for slower means of transportation. Every city will be a unique engineering challenge, and the need for educated labor in this vein will ensure that the next generation of students will carry on this vision for decades to come. As the projects expand to smaller cities, cars will only be needed to move between cities, and the streets the children play in will once again be safe. This process can be significantly quickened by technological advances in lightweight electromobility, however, so it is important to monitor the current state of lightweight EV's as well as potential for innovation in the future.

Technological Advances: Present & Future edit

Significant advancements have been made in the realm of computing power, partly thanks to hardware company Nvidia. They have revolutionized the field with their high-power GPUs, accessible through CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture). CUDA has accelerated the development and execution of code, especially in machine learning.[9] OpenAI has also contributed to this progress with the release of Triton, a GPU programming framework that similarly improves speed. This competition has spurred remarkable advancements in programming. For instance, the introduction of Triton has enabled faster PyTorch training by reducing the use of temporary memory.[10] These developments marks a leap forward in the efficiency and capabilities of programming technologies.

In 2007, a GPU and an efficiently-written Breadth-First Search algorithm enabled the processing of about 10 million graph nodes in one second.[11] In 2011, a Stanford team discovered that GPU-optimized codes could tackle up to 400 million edges in a second on a 32 million-node graph, marking a substantial leap forward.[12] This progress owes much to Moore's Law, which predicts a doubling of transistors on a chip approximately every two years, thereby boosting computational power. This trend feeds into the expected increase in GPU parallelism—a consistent pattern over recent years.[13] Consequently, we can anticipate future, more powerful GPUs to simultaneously handle more intricate tasks, dramatically accelerating overall processes. Moreover, advancements in transistor technology have curtailed leakage, thus improving both the quantity and quality of transistors.[14]

These technological strides will revolutionize software by 2050. For instance, navigation companies, like Uber and VEO, will not only enable their apps to find paths quicker, but they will also enhance their fleet management. This will enable these companies to optimize vehicle deployment, improve route efficiency, and streamline operational logistics, ultimately leading to a more efficient and responsive service. Consequently, more people will be incentivized to ride share, use electric scooters, and ultimately, move away from using private vehicles.

Enhanced computational capabilities will also improve the quality of simulations in various fields. For instance, automotive manufacturers can run extensive simulations, incorporating artificial intelligence in their designs. This will enable them to pay greater attention to aspects like safety, aerodynamics, and overall vehicle performance, boosting the adoption and use of lightweight electric vehicles. Material scientists will benefit as well. Improved technology will accelerate advanced simulations and exploratory methods. Using GPUs, researchers can efficiently model complex processes, like the transformation of Li4Ti5O12 into Li7Ti5O12, leading to more discoveries and improvements in materials, namely batteries.[15] These discoveries will raise the quality of lightweight electric vehicles, which will be crucial to realizing our vision.

Future Work edit

Future research could explore the methods used to shift public attitudes towards lightweight electric vehicles by 2050. The United States has an entrenched car culture, as seen by the sprawling suburbs and extensive freeways.[16] While government policies can guide a transition towards more sustainable forms of transport, fostering an authentic public preference for these vehicles is key to ensuring a smooth shift.

The city of Liverpool's transformation offers a valuable case study in changing societal attitudes. Once grappling with racism, highlighted by the 1981 Toxteth riots, the city has seen a massive shift for the better.[17][18] The arrival of Mohamed Salah—a Muslim player for Liverpool FC, one of the club’s best ever players—played a key role. His presence correlated with a 16% drop in hate crimes, compared to had he not signed for the club, and fewer Islamophobic posts among fans.[19] This shift in Liverpool demonstrates the potential for deeply ingrained behaviors/attitudes, such as the United States’s car culture, to undergo positive transformation.

References edit

  1. a b "U.S. Department of Transportation".
  2. Reid, Carlton. "'Cherish The Bicycle' Says Dutch Government -- Here's That Love In Map Form". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  3. "US States - Ranked by Population 2023". Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  4. Petron, Arthur J. (2008). The folding Roboscooter : structural analysis for an electric scooter used in urban conditions (Thesis thesis). Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  5. Roberts, Ryan; Musango, Josephine Kaviti; Brent, Alan Colin; Heun, Matthew Kuperus (2018-09). "The Correlation between Energy Cost Share, Human, and Economic Development: Using Time Series Data from Australasia, Europe, North America, and the BRICS Nations". Energies. 11 (9): 2405. doi:10.3390/en11092405. ISSN 1996-1073. {{cite journal}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. Lopez, Napier (2020-04-23). "Review: The Levy electric scooter packs swappable batteries and thoughtful design for $499". TNW | Plugged. Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  7. "GHO | By category | Road traffic deaths - Data by country". WHO. Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  8. "Report An Environmental Violation Or Problem - NYDEC". Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  9. Oh, Fred (2012-09-10). "What Is CUDA | NVIDIA Official Blog". NVIDIA Blog. Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  10. "Introducing Triton: Open-source GPU programming for neural networks". Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  11. Harish, Pawan (2007). "Accelerating Large Graph Algorithms on the GPU Using CUDA" (PDF). International Conference on High-Performance Computing: 197–208 – via Springer-Verlag.
  12. "Efficient Parallel Graph Exploration on Multi-Core CPU and GPU | IEEE Conference Publication | IEEE Xplore". Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  13. Mark, William (2008-03). "Future Graphics Architectures: GPUs continue to evolve rapidly, but toward what?". Queue. 6 (2): 54–64. doi:10.1145/1365490.1365501. ISSN 1542-7730. {{cite journal}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. "GPU technology trends and future requirements | IEEE Conference Publication | IEEE Xplore". Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  15. Zhao, Bote; Ran, Ran; Liu, Meilin; Shao, Zongping (2015-12-01). "A comprehensive review of Li4Ti5O12-based electrodes for lithium-ion batteries: The latest advancements and future perspectives". Materials Science and Engineering: R: Reports. 98: 1–71. doi:10.1016/j.mser.2015.10.001. ISSN 0927-796X.
  16. Rosane, Olivia (2023-09-29). "Car Culture: Everything You Need to Know". EcoWatch. Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  17. Zack-Williams, Alfred B. (1997). "African Diaspora Conditioning: The Case of Liverpool". Journal of Black Studies. 27 (4): 528–542. ISSN 0021-9347.
  18. Retrieved 2023-12-07. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. "OSF". Retrieved 2023-12-07.