Setting high standards for urban mobility
The city of Riga aims at a high-quality mobility system with low air pollution. The main goals of Riga’s electro-mobility projects are to improve air quality, minimize the impact of transport on the environment and set high standards for urban mobility on he territory. These measures should contribute to achieving the CO2-emission reduction targets set in Riga’s Covenant of Mayors Action Plan covering the period 2010-2020.
Collaboration of different stakeholders
Since 2010, Riga Energy Agency, together with the Zero Emissions Mobility Support Society (BIMAB) and the local utility JSC “Latvenergo”, has been actively promoting the introduction of electric cars and electric bicycles in Riga.
These promotional activities have been concentrated mostly on raising awareness about electromobility among citizens in the Latvian capital. An example is the zero-emission mobility demo centre, which is run by BIMAB. In this centre, visitors can see various types of electric cars and bicycles in action. Riga has also actively informed its citizens about the various European electromobility projects it has engaged in, such as for instance the EU Interreg “SUM” project in which it took part until 2014.
Electric cars for Riga’s municipal services
It was in 2010 that electric cars first arrived in Latvia, when the local utility JSC “Latvenergo” purchased the first two of them. In 2011 and 2012, Riga’s municipal services followed and purchased eight electric cars for use within the municipality’s companies, agencies and staff. Five of these cars were used by Riga’s public transport company “Rīgas satiksme”, notably to manage its motor transport depot. In addition, the municipal agency “Rīgas gaisma” set up public fast-recharging stations for electric vehicles in the city.
These measures were co-financed by the Latvian government through its climate change financial instrument that supports the introduction of new technologies, and from EU Structural Funds earmarked to the development of eco-friendly mobility. This financial support was crucial to provide for the high upfront investment costs of these measures.
First encouraging results
The eight electric cars purchased for and operated by Riga’s municipal services have shown first encouraging results in terms of climate impact. Thanks to Riga’s investment in this sustainable form of transportation, CO2 emissions were reduced by 25.5 tons in 2014.
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This article is an extract of a Covenant of Mayors case study. Find out more at www.eumayors.eu.
© photo Rigas satiksme