What Is Green Transportation?

Jan 31, 2021
Ebike rider cruising down the road, green transportation concept

Green transportation is any means of travel that doesn’t negatively impact the environment. Green transportation can be private (like a fast ebike), or public transit (like an electric city bus). Walking is also considered a green mode of travel.

The common denominator among green transportation everywhere is that it’s sustainable. Sustainable transportation is powered by resources that aren’t depleted when used, making them harnessable by future generations.


Electric car in Europe, one of the leading green transportation vehicles used in Amsterdam — Electric Drive

Europe is at the forefront of the global green-transportation charge.

Types of sustainable (green) vehicles

Looking to make a move toward green transportation? Here are three sustainable options people are embracing in 2021.


1. All-electric vehicles

All-electric vehicles use one or more electric motors. They can be vehicles powered by solar cells, electric batteries, or electric generators to convert fuel to electricity.

All-electric vehicles are greener than vehicles powered by combustion engines because they don’t burn up fossil fuel (which isn’t renewable), and they don’t negatively impact the environment in the same way exhaust does either.

It’s also important to note that it’s not only highly-visible car companies like Tesla embracing the use of electric-powered engines either. Public buses, light rail commuter trains, and intercity trains are beginning to run on electric motors too.


2. Hybrid vehicles

Hybrid vehicles pair an electric motor with a traditional combustion engine. Electric motors excel at creating power, whereas combustion engines are better at maintaining high speeds.

Hybrid vehicles operate on the premise that each power source will do what it does best. Although hybrid vehicles are less “green” than all-electric vehicles, they still produce fewer greenhouse emissions than vehicles running purely on a combustion engine, making them greener.

Depending on how they are driven, hybrid cars cut emissions from 26 to 90 percent when compared to traditional vehicles. Like all-electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles can be found in both private and public transportation.


3. Electric bikes

If you’ve ever wondered what an ebike is, the abbreviation stands for “electric bicycle”, and it’s essentially a traditional bicycle with an electric motor.

Ebike batteries last for hours, and can help riders go from 15-25 mph. But some ebikes can go even faster than that.

There are different models of electric bicycles, with the greenest version being the pedal-assist ebike. Pedal assist requires the rider to pedal before the motor begins to engage. However, there are also models that continuously use the motor as well.

Electric bikes are effective modes of green transportation for a number of reasons. For instance, ebike production requires fewer resources than fulls-sized vehicles, and they demand less energy too.

Ebikes are just starting to become popular in the United States. However, they’re already an increasingly popular form of green transportation in Europe and Asia. Especially in cities, where getting around the landscape on an ebike is easier for couriers and commuters.


Ebike rider cruising down the road, green transportation concept

Ebikes are a fun, healthy, sustainable way of traveling.

The importance of green transportation today

Making the switch to green transportation is important to protect our planet for future generations. In addition, we can reduce our use of fossil fuels, which are finite and cause global pollution issues.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 28 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions in the United States come from transportation vehicles. And, the majority of these emissions (59 percent) come from passenger vehicles. These numbers have increased by 30 percent since 1990, even as green transportation has become more popular. Clearly, we need to do more.

A culture that embraces green transportation will not only reduce air pollution and help the population stay healthier, but individuals will spend fewer resources on energy and governments will become less dependent on providers of fossil fuels. With this one change, we’ll all become closer to living in a sustainable society.

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