Transport's green makeover

Greener travel is a growing political and public priority

Greener travel is a growing political and public priority

Transportation accounts for about a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU and the UK.

Not only is this a significant share, but transport is the only major economic sector in Europe where emissions have increased since 1990, according to the European Environment Agency. How to make travel greener is thus a growing political and public priority and is a principal focus of this newsletter.

Rapid growth in the uptake of electric vehicles (EV) in much of Europe is undoubtedly a cause for optimism in the fight against climate change, although there remains a debate in many places about the relative economic and environmental impacts of EVs and alternative fuels. Digging deeper into the figures, we find that the distribution of EV purchases varies considerably from one country to another and within individual countries. We show that incomes and population density account for only about half of the variation and demonstrate how agent-based modelling can help explain the remainder.

With Berlin aiming to boost EV ownership by rolling out a subsidised nationwide network of fast-charging points, we take a look at the design of the tendering process for the €1.8bn scheme, on which Frontier was an adviser.

The urgent need to reduce the environmental damage caused by the transport sector has triggered a spate of government initiatives to get people to reduce car use. How to gauge the success of overlapping schemes is a knotty problem; we make the case for a comprehensive approach to evaluation. We also explain why faster progress in rolling out 5G across Europe is needed to realise the potential of autonomous vehicles and smart logistics.

The other main focus of this newsletter is the dynamic nature of today’s transport markets, illustrated with a trio of articles. We analyse the recovery in airline passenger numbers since the Covid-19 pandemic and what it means for carriers’ business models. We show how competition policy in the transport sector is becoming ever more intertwined with digital regulation. And we look at how travel operators can adapt their value strategies by learning from other retail sectors.

Transport operators will continue to face decisions about how to adapt value strategies for changing consumer demand and market dynamics
Tim Black
Associate Director
Unlocking new use cases in the transport industry requires full 5G (almost) everywhere
Hanna Kristjansdottir
Although passenger numbers are recovering (after Covid-19), people are making different choices about work, education, social and recreational travel
Ann Zhang


of new cars purchased in the UK in 2023 were ‘plug-ins’ EVs


new high-power charging points for EVs coming to Germany


5G population coverage across EU Member States

Team Thoughts

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