Urban Mobility Electrification Research

NREL's urban electrification research considers the constraints of the built environment, equity, governance, and how electricity-powered technologies interact with building design, urban and mobility planning, and use of urban spaces.

Image of solar panels and wind turbines near skyscrapers in city.

Electrification is the process of powering human activities and the devices used to perform these activities by electricity. It entails transitioning from a legacy source of energy to electricity for powering a particular activity—for example, shifting from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles.

Cities are at the frontline of current and future electrification trends—they concentrate populations, economic activities, and infrastructures that depend on and drive electricity generation, distribution, and use.

Urban electrification offers a strategic way to leapfrog toward efficient, low-carbon, sustainable energy systems and facilitate broad, just changes in the urban environment. With urban electrification, clean energy alternatives can replace existing services that drive climate change and local air pollution in cities. Such air pollution reductions offer tangible health and quality-of-life benefits.