Back to Utrecht — two years ago, the city started commissioning bidirectional charging stations, and now has nearly 500 of them. That network is one of the reasons Hyundai recently chose the city to test its first bidirectional car, the IONIQ 5. The South Korean brand is partnering with Dutch car sharing platform We Drive Solar, with plans for 150 shared IONIQs to be zooming across Utrecht by early 2022. (On a smaller scale, Renault worked with We Drive Solar to test its own bidirectional prototype in the city.)
The International Energy Agency just underscored the urgency of abandoning fossil fuels if the world is to reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. In addition to embracing renewables, the IEA set a goal of 60% of global car sales being electric by 2030. Utrecht's initiative demonstrates how intertwined those goals are. And how crucial both active governments and innovative entrepreneurs are for phasing out fossil fuels. Other cities, auto manufacturers and car sharing platforms to follow, asap?