Initiatives for sustainable mobility and tourism

9 August, 2021

It is already possible to travel a thousand kilometres in a green hydrogen car, cruise on an LNG-powered ship and travel on increasingly sustainable trains.

This is the time of the year when the greatest number of journeys are made. And owing to awareness that transport generates three-quarters of atmospheric CO2 emissions, new forms of mobility that are more respectful of our planet are emerging all the time. These initiatives allow us to see that a sustainable future is possible and not too far off.

A thousand kilometres by car, without refuelling and without polluting

Toyota demonstrated this ability in June by breaking the world record for distance travelled using clean energy. One of its vehicles (Toyota Mirai), succeeded in travelling 1,003 km without refuelling, using only green hydrogen.

In order to achieve this, a variety of efficient driving techniques were used on French roads. Immediately after setting the new record, the car was ready to be driven again after refuelling for only five minutes.

More sustainable aircraft

The airlines have come under the spotlight. Air operations are 70% more efficient today than they were 40 years ago, but airlines pollute more because there are many more planes in the sky. Consequently, companies in the sector are working to meet a huge challenge: reducing environmental impact in order to offer a sustainable travel experience.

In this regard, Boeing is committed to making its aircraft 100% sustainable by 2030. And the development of biofuels (including hydrogen) will be key if these goals are to be achieved.

Airlines are working to solve a huge challenge: reducing environmental impact in order to offer a sustainable travel experience

A few months ago, Airbus also presented several models of hydrogen-powered aircraft that could be in operation by 2035 to become the first passenger aircraft with zero emissions. The company is currently investing in alternative fuels to improve the sustainability and efficiency of its planes.

Tourism by train, efficient tourism

In terms of energy consumption, the train is the most energy-efficient mode of transport. CO2 emissions per passenger are ten times lower than those that would be generated by a passenger making the same journey by plane. They are about six times lower when compared to driving a car.

It is surprising to see that only 7% of passengers and approximately 11% of freight travel by rail, despite the advantages it offers. A roadmap for Spain’s railway sector is being developed by Renfe, Enagás and other players in the sector for the transformation of all traction segments to LNG and associated supply points.

Also worthy of note are the projects to introduce hydrogen into rail transport in order to accelerate its gradual decarbonisation. They include projects such as H2Rail, which aim to determine the feasibility of and scope for green hydrogen solutions in rail traction and associated logistics infrastructure.

The efforts in the cruise sector

Another sector that is doing the most to keep up the pace in its race towards climate neutrality is the maritime sector. Different cruise lines such as Costa Cruceros, Aida Cruceros, Carnival, P&O Cruises or Disney Cruises are including LNG-powered ships in their fleets.

LNG is currently the cleanest fuel among those available for use by heavy transport, including large cargo and passenger vessels. Compared to traditional fuels, it eliminates 100% of sulphur oxide (SOX) emissions while reducing nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions by 80–90% and CO2 emissions by 20–30%, which means a reduction of two million tonnes in a decade and improvement in air quality.

LNG is currently the cleanest fuel among those available for heavy transport

It is an alternative until new technologies are developed that will allow us to achieve full decarbonisation of the sector, in which renewable gases, such as green hydrogen, will play a key part.

The path towards the decarbonisation of transport is in the process of reaching its destination, but the awareness, commitment and projects that exist show that we coming a little closer to accomplishing it.