Electrification transition and carbon emission reduction of urban passenger transportation systems—A case study of Shenzhen, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, place - asia, technology - alternative fuels, technology - emissions, policy - environment, policy - sustainable, ridership - mode choice


Urban passenger transportation, Electrification transition, Carbon reduction, Multi-level perspective, System dynamics


Urban passenger transportation sector is one of the major contributors to carbon emissions due to motorization and urbanization. Electrification transition is crucial to achieving carbon mitigation. This study proposed a double substitution of vehicles and travel modes, analyzed the electrification transition mechanism, and aimed to establish a model using the system dynamics method to simulate travel mode, electrification transition process, and emission reduction effect of urban passenger transportation system in Shenzhen in different scenarios. Results indicated: (1) Electrification transition involves four phases, and there is a delay in travel modes substitution compared with vehicles substitution; (2) Electrification in Shenzhen generates a diversified travel mode dominated by public transport, whose share rate exceeds 70% in 2035; (3) Carbon emissions trends in different scenarios present inverted “V” shape, while emission levels are significantly different, ranging from 10.32Mt to 6.41Mt in 2035; (4) Integrated approach is superior to only a travel mode shift or clean vehicle strategy, decreasing total CO2 emissions from 7.8Mt in 2014 to 6.41Mt in 2035 and unit passenger emissions from 1.65 kg in 2010 to 0.49 kg in 2035. This study provides a good reference for achieving low-carbon urban passenger transportation during urbanization and the worldwide electrification transition of transportation systems.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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