Towards Electric Vehicles – Different Approaches in US Cities


This two part series analyzes electric mobility in Washington, DC and Detroit.

Washington DC and Detroit
Teaser Image Caption
Picture source: John Phelan, Ken Lund

Since the Volkswagen emission scandal also known as “Dieselgate” in 2015, demands by consumers and policy makers to speed up the transition to electric vehicles became increasingly louder. The recent climate conference (COP23) in Bonn has also identified electric vehicles as one solution to tackle public health issues caused by transport emissions and climate change. Moreover, in Germany and the USA, the shift to electric vehicles is important since both economies depend on the car manufacturing industry. However, sales of electric vehicles are on very low scale, and it’s still a long way to go. To encourage consumers to switch to electric vehicles and maintain the manufacturing economy, policy makers have taken various actions.

This series looks at the development of electric mobility in the US, and informs about the different approaches in Washington, DC and the US' main car manufacturing city, Detroit. The transition to end petrol powered cars and expand to electric vehicle is mostly thriving in urban areas, and this development leads to the question: How are cities adapting to the increasing pressure on promoting a pollution free urban space and offering access to emission free transportation methods?

By assessing these two cities, each article will give an overall understanding how different approaches toward a transition to electric vehicles dominate streets and reach the common goal of becoming a smarter, greener and electrified city.

Part 1: Modern Mobility in Washington, DC 

Part 2: Mobility in Detroit- Motown becomes electrified


The series is a research project by our intern Tina Sänger