Siemens launches new tool to help cities estimate electric transportation infrastructure needs


As more cities look to electrify transportation to cut carbon footprints, reduce congestion and create new economic opportunities, Siemens is launching a new tool that will estimate the infrastructure requirements and potential impacts of electric transport in cities over the next 30 years.

With the move toward the widespread electrification of transport accelerating, cities worldwide face the equally important need to support these new systems with robust infrastructure across vehicle charging, power grids and the roads themselves.

Siemens’s new eMobility calculator will give cities of any size a clear map of what type of infrastructure improvements will be required in order to electrify private cars, public buses and other fleets, including estimates on the number of electric vehicle (EV) chargers needed and on parking and land use.

The launch of the eMobility calculator coincides with a new research report from Siemens, Powering the Future of Urban Mobility, which takes analysis about long-term sustainability planning in cities from bird’s-eye view to street level, focusing on how people use different modes of transportation to navigate urban areas as one of the toughest but most critical topics for cities to address now and into the future.

Although many cities’ sustainability targets are set for the long-term, such as 2035 or 2050, Siemens’s research has shown that cities need to start working to meet these goals immediately through a proactive approach to planning and investments.

The eMobility calculator projects that, in a city like Los Angeles, the number of EV chargers needed and amount of energy consumed by EVs peaks in 2035, meaning the majority of investments in chargers and grid modernization will need to be made before then.

For example, a city like LA would need to install up to 100 EV chargers per week – starting now and continuing through 2050 – to accommodate an all-electric landscape. And by adopting more shared eMobility options like electric vehicles and public transport, LA could reclaim 720,000ft² of land, which equates to enough space for more than 500,000 new homes.

The eMobility calculator joins Siemens’s broader portfolio of urban development data tools designed to help cities plan for and achieve their sustainability goals. Launched in 2015, the company’s data-driven City Performance Tool has been used by a growing list of cities around the world to calculate the environmental and economic impacts of building, transport and energy technologies.

In addition, Siemens’s new City Air Monitoring cloud-based software evaluates cities’ pollution data in real time and formulates potential solutions to help them determine concrete recommendations for action.

“The advent of new technologies and business models provides city decision makers with an opportunity to redefine what is working in their cities and to reinvent what’s not,” said Julia Thayne, director of innovation and technology for cities at Siemens Cities Center of Competence. “This tool is intended to map a clear pathway of how a city can shape its mobility networks to achieve long-term sustainability, both environmental and economic.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).