Aiming for carbon neutrality

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As a distinguished player in the premium-vehicle market, Porsche has long set the standard for fine German automobile engineering. As a testament to this, they pride themselves on having approximately 70% of all their cars sold in the last 70 years still on the road today. This puts them in a prime position to lead the way with continued innovation and growth — much of which is taking place in the realm of sustainability through electrification, tire innovations and advancements through supply-chain and city partnerships.

 

Changing mentalities

“The Germans, they love their cars — they love their Mercedes, they love their Porsches… it’s very identifiable with the German culture,” states Daniela Rathe, Porsche’s Director of Politics, External Relations and Sustainability. Be this as it may, poor air quality levels found in German cities such as Stuttgart — nestled in a valley — threaten citizens’ health, and major manufacturers in the region, such as the above-mentioned car companies, are forced to take action through technological innovations and changes in habits and policy.

 

Identifying needs: Ludwigsburg

Together with the city of Ludwigsburg, Porsche collaborated with German transport software solutions company PTV Group to identify needs and greatly improve the sustainable urban mobility of the region. With a target to solve problems in both the long and short term with traffic congestion and emissions, they developed new software with macro- and micro-models of the city that help to:

  • Map the geographical and temporal shift of traffic
  • Identify potential modal shift action
  • Identify scenarios to stabilize traffic flow and reduction
  • Identify opportunities for the renewal and electrification of the vehicle fleet

 

Identifying needs: Stuttgart

Together with the city of Stuttgart, Porsche recently undertook a project to solve severe traffic congestion problems. (Incidentally, much of the traffic in the city consists of employees of the car manufacturers of the region.) They identified that city infrastructure construction sites were significant contributors to the congestion, so they decided to try to tackle the issue systematically. To mitigate the negative impact on the environment and reduce waiting times, the collaboration between Porsche and the city helped to considerably ease traffic tensions, resulting in:

  • an 83% decrease in the duration of construction projects;
  • a 17% daily reduction in traffic;
  • a 7% reduction in lane costs per m²,
  • positive feedback from all participants.

“This is very basic, and this sounds very unsexy, but this was a very good project because we noticed that we could translate our production-side experience from constructing cars to the construction site process,” explains Rathe, citing an effective example of the impact of a public-private partnership.

 

What solutions?

    • Distinguish commuters from construction zone residents when setting up temporary detours
    • Offer and incentivize alternatives tailored to these distinctly separate groups, such as more customized public transit and carsharing options
    • Organize detours that start further from construction zones that deviate users in different directions unaffected by the construction zone.

 

This article is based on the following working session given at the 2019 Movin’On Summit: “A multi-stakeholder perspective on improving quality of life, air and health in our cities” by Daniela Rathe (Porsche AG).