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    rethink sustainability

    The CLIC® Chronicles: Cycling towards a brighter future

    The CLIC® Chronicles: Cycling towards a brighter future

    The streets outside our homes could look very different in less than a decade, as the humble push-bike could soon rule the roads. The low hum of electric scooters will replace the growl of petrol engines. Gas-guzzling cars will be a dwindling feature as people choose to take the more practical route of riding electric bikes and micro-vehicles to work. As a result, the skies and the air will be clearer, while the ageing fleet of fossil-fuelled vehicles will, hopefully, be close to obsolete.

    This is a version of reality for 2030. One where our mobility system is overhauled and refocused. And one where vehicles that take up less space on the roads are embraced, while the petrol car plays less and less of a role in our lives.

    It is also a version of reality that is within our grasp. If we are to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, how we are transported must change. Otherwise, emissions will continue to rise. This vision of a cleaner, fresher reality is necessary for our society to continue.

    …reality for 2030… where our mobility system is overhauled and refocused…where vehicles that take up less space…are embraced, while the petrol car plays less and less of a role in our lives

    A fresh reset

    Society is beginning to imagine a future where roads aren't dominated by traditional methods of transport. Today, cities around the world are looking inwards and asking: if we had the opportunity to build our cities from scratch, what would they look like? Cities would be cycle-friendly – a dream for pedestrians – and filled with green spaces. Great stretches of asphalt parking spaces would be long gone, replaced by urban gardens or micro-mobility lanes. Paris has already taken this approach, creating 400 kilometres of bicycle lanes since 20141. Elsewhere, in Saudi Arabia, a 170-kilometre belt of communities connected without the need for cars or roads is being planned.

    Society is beginning to imagine a future where roads aren't dominated by traditional methods of transport

    In the future, the role of the traditional vehicle will be limited. There are currently 30 countries that have pledged to phase out sales of new petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles by 20402. For instance, from 2030, new cars fuelled by petrol or diesel will not be sold in the UK. Instead, we can expect to see our roads change as micro-vehicles take hold. E-scooters, electric bikes, micro-cars, electric tuk-tuks – all will be part of the shift to micro-mobility: vehicles that are smaller than cars and which produce fewer emissions.

    The reason is clear. In developed countries, some 60% of journeys are less than five miles in length. Of those, 70% are taken by car. This trend of heavy petrol-fuelled vehicles often bringing one person a short distance is not just unsustainable, but corrosive. However, to reach the targets in the Paris Agreement, transport emissions must almost halve by 2050. The current model is flawed and needs to be changed to one that is CLIC® (Circular, Lean, Inclusive, Clean).

    In the future, the role of the traditional vehicle is limited…E-scooters, electric bikes, micro cars, electric tuk-tuks – all will be part of the shift to micro mobility

    Ripe for opportunity

    The mobility revolution has already started. Electric bikes can now be seen perched and ready to rent in major cities. At the end of 2021, there were 16,000 shared e-bikes recorded in the UK alone3 – and numbers are still rising. Privately owned electric scooters are a newly legal and eco-friendly form of transportation4, while electric vehicles are increasingly being used for deliveries5.

    As we move towards a system which is equitable, accessible, resource-efficient, resilient, cost-effective, and clean, an estimated USD 2 bn annual opportunity for investors will emerge.

    Market forces and technological advances will help to create the efficiencies needed in transportation and delivery – and it is here where investors can focus their attention. Some have already arisen. The e-bike market, for example, is expected to generate around USD 53.5 bn in revenue by 20276. And it's not just private industry taking advantage of this opportunity. Many public automobile companies are investing heavily in electric vehicles. In the US last year, electric vehicle companies Rivian and Lucid Motors went public and are now valued at a combined USD 150 bn7.

    The revolution in mobility has already started. Electric bikes can now be seen perched and ready to be rented in major cities

    Opportunities will not just focus on the companies making this new generation of vehicles. They will also include those that will work to create the cities of the future and utilise the space taken away from the car, such as companies that can help in the construction of greener buildings and the infrastructure needed to adapt our living areas.

    Regulation will play an important role, and will also drive greener solutions for long-haul transport while focussing on lifecycle emissions and circularity in vehicle production and usage. Materials will need to be efficient, batteries reused and recycled, and emissions reduced through the entire vehicle supply chain – not just at the tailpipe.

     

    1 https://www.politico.eu/article/anne-hidalgo-paris-mayor-urban-revolution/
    2 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/09/climate/cars-zero-emissions-cop26.html#:~:text=the%20main%20story-,6%20Automakers%20and%2030%20Countries%20Say%20They%27ll%
    3 https://zagdaily.com/places/2021-by-the-numbers-shared-e-bikes-in-the-uk/#:~:text=At%20the%20end%20of%202021,of%20these%20are%20in%20London.
    4 https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48106617
    5 https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-creating-fleet-of-electric-delivery-vehicles-rivian-2020-2?r=US&IR=T
    6 https://www.statista.com/statistics/674381/size-global-market-electric-bicycles/
    7 https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/23/ev-stocks-soared-in-2021-investors-betting-revenue-to-follow-in-2022.html

    Important information

    This document is issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd or an entity of the Group (hereinafter “Lombard Odier”). It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a document. This document was not prepared by the Financial Research Department of Lombard Odier.

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