Today, one of the major causes of air pollution is the emission of carbon monoxide (CO) from passenger vehicles and heavy-duty trucks.
According to the State of Global Air 2018 report, ninety-five percent of the world’s population live in areas exceeding WHO guidelines for healthy air. This polluted air exposes people to health risks such as chest pain, cancer, asthma and bronchitis. With this problem at hand, policies have been put in place in several developed countries to curb air pollution, especially from cars and trucks. In the United States the effect of such policies is a 90% reduction in carbon monoxide emission since 1998.
According to the Vanguard, Nigeria has the most harmful air in Africa because it has the highest burden of fatalities from air pollution in Africa and 4th highest in the world with 150 deaths per 100,000 people.
The big question is, how do we improve air quality? Densely populated cities such as Lagos, in Nigeria have a high number of vehicles on the roads, contributing greatly to polluting the air. How do we become eco-conscious with transportation systems since moving from one place to another daily is inevitable?
Technology has increased the option of eco-friendly transportation via fuel-efficient vehicles that use less oil, cleaner fuels the produce fewer emissions and electric cars. Majority of the options available today require fossil fuel, thereby making them less eco-friendly.
A few available eco-friendly options are;
- Electric Cars: Electric cars have been around for over 100 years but were not in the mainstream market. With Continuous research and development, electric vehicles are now in the mainstream market thanks to enhanced battery technology, quicker charging, longer travel range and lower cost.
- Green Trains: Electric trains were invented in the 1800s. They have an electric source that gives them power to run on special train tracks. Electric trains have replaced older steam trains that used coal.
- Electric Motorcycle: An electric motorcycle works essentially the same way a gas-powered motorcycle works: The main difference is that the gas fuel in a conventional motorcycle is replaced by either batteries or fuel cells in an electric version. This market is growing at a healthy rate with new designs introduced weekly.
- Electric Buses: According to Reuters, there are currently 300 electric passenger buses operating in the US. These buses are rapidly replacing diesel fueled fleets.
Due to the high demand of environmentally friendly transport systems, many initiatives have been deployed across the globe to show that a green society can be achieved. Some worthy of mention are; PRT pod cars in Heathrow, London, ISRO TATA Motors’ fuel cell bus, Delhi Metro, Mahindra’s zero- emission e2o and the CNG – electric hybrid bus.
Moving from one point to another can have an adverse effect on our environment via traditional transportation systems. This makes it imperative for us to embrace green transportation by taking deliberate steps to see its realization all over the world.