At Technology Elevated, we’ve been exploring the potential to incentivize adoption of fuel system technologies that increase fuel efficiency and horsepower while reducing emissions. From both an environmental and financial perspective, there is a pressing global need for innovative technologies that reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and empower consumers to make choices that mitigate their impact on the environment. Nowhere is this need more critical than in the world’s emerging nations.
As we recently discussed, the future of fuel economy is not yet certain. Although fuel efficiency rates are steadily rising in North America and Europe, they are falling rapidly in Asia, particularly in India and China. As the emerging middle classes in these countries gain access to private transportation, they contribute in great numbers to the consumption of fossil fuels and increase traffic congestion and street-level pollution. In the dense, urban cities of India, China, and other emerging economies such as Brazil, the impact can be devastating.
In its Outlook on the Global Agenda, the World Economic Forum immediately states that “the industrialization of the developing world is creating unsustainable pollution levels.” Emissions from large sources such as power plants as well as smaller (but more numerous) sources such as cars and motorcycles combine to create a haze of pollution over developing cities. The costs are mounting.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s report on The Economic Consequences of Outdoor Air Pollution notes that “The most dangerous consequences from outdoor air pollution are related to the number of premature deaths,” which are projected to rise “from approximately 3 million people (annually) in 2010… to 6-9 million annually.” The serious health complications that contribute to these numbers, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, primarily affect “densely populated regions… especially China and India.”
The impact of urban pollution isn’t only measured in human lives; there is an enormous projected economic cost as well. In addition to the strain on healthcare and welfare costs resulting from premature illness and death, the OECD anticipates increasing costs from lost productivity. Beyond human health, rising outdoor pollution will greatly impact the agricultural industry as well, threatening both economic growth and the ability to feed growing populations.
As they follow established western models of economic growth, emerging nations are contributing to an increase in global pollution as post-industrial nations begin attempting to mitigate their environmental impact. But, as the World Economic Forum notes, “developing countries will suffer the most from the weather-related disasters and increased water stress caused by global warming.”
Might there be a way to specifically address the problem of fuel consumption and pollution-causing emissions in these parts of the world?
Technologies designed to reduce harmful emissions and increase fuel economy already exist (we’ve developed some of them ourselves), but what is missing in these emerging economies are incentives for adopting them. At Technology Elevated, we believe that it’s vital to incentivize the implementation of emissions-reducing technology at the individual level.
We’ve created highly efficient fuel system technologies that can be retrofitted to existing vehicles to increase fuel economy and horsepower while reducing harmful emissions. We believe that the ability to retrofit an existing vehicle, for example the motorbike used by a delivery driver in Mumbai, enables consumers to receive the benefits of that technology with the least possible expense. That delivery driver is much more likely to retrofit his existing vehicle than to purchase a new one.
In order to increase the incentive to adopt emissions-reducing technologies, we are looking to the possibilities created by new energy markets. Innovative technology can enable the exchange of carbon credits for micro-offsets in carbon usage and emissions, and while the savings created through the automated exchange of micro-offsets may be insignificant to the American motorcycle owner, they are quite significant to the delivery driver in Mumbai. His priority is not to reduce pollution or fuel consumption, but to get more work done with less expense. The retrofitting of emissions-reducing technology combined with the accumulation of credits from micro-offsets could make an impact on his bottom line while also mitigating his impact on the air quality of his community.
The problem of street-level pollution doesn’t have a single, quick-fix solution. But, if innovators around the world can make individual contributions, we can begin to slow its rise and positively impact fuel economy, air quality, and perhaps even the economic circumstances that contribute to pollution in dense, urban areas.
At Technology Elevated, we’re motivated by the ability to make a difference in our community and communities around the world through innovative thinking and design. If you’d like to learn more about our efforts and our ethos, contact us today!