Framing Electric Mobility for Urban Sustainability in a Circular Economy Context: An Overview of the Literature

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Walter Leal Filho
Ismaila Rimi Abubakar
Richard Kotter
Thomas Skou Grindsted
Abdul-Lateef Balogun
Amanda Lange Salvia
Yusuf A. Aina
Franziska Wolf

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The development of electro-mobility is one of the centerpieces of European country attempts to reduce carbon emissions and increase the quality of life in cities. The goals of reducing emissions from the transport sector and phasing out fossil-fueled vehicles in (urban) transport by 2050 present unrivaled opportunities to foster electro-mobility. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the literature and provides a detailed analysis of the current development of electro-mobility in Europe, assessing social, economic, and environmental aspects under a circular economy (CE) context. It also examines the existing challenges and suggests ways of addressing them towards improving the environmental performance of electro-mobility and the urban quality of life. The paper argues that a narrow technology-only agenda in electro-mobility will be less successful without the imperative of the CE, including not just materials and resources but also energy, to unlock the medium-term co-benefits of de-carbonization of both the transport as well as the building and energy sectors. The paper critically reviews some of the anticipated future developments that may guide the growth of this rapidly growing field into a CE.