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Electric vehicles only make up a small percentage of the U.S.’s car fleet, however they are becoming more affordable.
The University of Oregon conducted research for the cities of Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver to understand how the deployment of autonomous vehicles may impact greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Based on the range of possible outcomes, the cities hope to better understand the policies and programmatic choices available to mitigate negative impacts of AVs and ensure that they can accomplish the goals stated in their climate action, land use, and transportation plans. By working together, each city hopes to learn from each other—as well as cities from across North America—to achieve their climate-related goals.
The transportation sector accounts for the largest portion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to all other sectors, and GHGs are once again on the rise. At the same time, new mobility technologies are being introduced and fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) are anticipated to be deployed, at least to varying extents, within 5-10 years. (Waymo, Google’s self-driving project, is already operating a limited robotaxi service in Phoenix, AZ with a fleet of AVs.) AVs have the potential to improve safety, reduce congestion, and increase mobility— but they could also increase congestion, increase vehicle miles/ kilometers traveled (VMT/VKT), and erode transit, walk, and bike mode share, exacerbating existing conditions. The cities of Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; and Vancouver, BC have adopted climate action plans with the goal of dramatically reducing GHG emissions. This policy brief is intended to help the three cities better understand how AVs may help or hinder them in achieving their goals, and what recommended actions to take at this critical moment in time.
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are a near future reality and the implications of AVs on city development and urban form, while potentially widespread and dramatic, are not well understood. This report describes the first order impacts, or the broad ways that the form and function of cities are already being impacted by forces of change including—but not limited to—AVs and related technologies.
The New Mobility Playbook is a set of plays, policies, and strategies that will position Seattle to foster new mobility options while prioritizing safety, equity, affordability, and sustainability in the transportation system.
As a strategic roadmap, this document does not commit to specific budgets or metrics but serves as a vision and communications document to capture a wide variety of viewpoints into Austin’s mobility future. This roadmap will be incorporated into the larger Austin Strategic Mobility Plan to be finalized and approved at a future date. Critical to the development of the broader Mobility Plan will be an extensive analysis of the resource requirements for implementation of this shared, electric and autonomous vehicle (e-av) Roadmap.
This document includes the interests of most, if not all, major issues surrounding the impact AVs will have on our communities, government, and environment once they land.
One of the public policy goals for livable and sustainable communities is to minimize the use of automobiles. This paper focuses on introducing and justifying an important new policy principle. Even when car travel is minimized with smart growth land development policies, transportation demand management, and increased public transit, a significant level of automobile use will remain. As a result, reducing the environmental, economic and safety impacts of those remaining automobiles should be an essential element of a livable, sustainable community. Fortunately, fundamental and disruptive technological advances in new vehicles—automation, connectivity, and electrification as described in this paper are fast emerging to make this new priority feasible.
This report summarizes the major assumptions, predictions and forecasts that have been made for autonomous vehicles. It emphasizes their impact and takes focus on the effects it will have on previously immobile people and what it will take to integrate them legislatively.
Currently, little planning is being done to prepare for driverless technology. Actors at multiple levels, however, have tools at their disposal to help ensure that new technology does not come at the expense of the nation’s remaining natural habitats. This Article advocates for a shift in paradigm from policies that are merely anti-car to those that are pro-density, and provides suggestions for both cities and suburban areas for how harness the positive aspects of driverless cars while trying to stem the negative. Planning for density regardless of technology will help to ensure that, for the world of the future, there is actually a world.
"This paper assesses alternative fuel options for transit buses. We find that all alternative fuel options lead to higher life cycle ownership and external costs than conventional diesel. When external funding is available to pay for 80% of vehicle purchase expenditures (which is usually the case for U.S. transit agencies), BEBs yield large reductions (17–23%) in terms of ownership and external costs compared to diesel."
The presentation given to the city council goes over the potential the future of the City of Vancouver has to offer and what the next steps may be.
"The research described in this report shows that even with the greater global warming emissions from manufacturing (largely because of lithium-ion battery manufacturing), a battery-electric vehicle still results in significantly lower global warming emissions over its lifetime than its gasoline counterpart. Other studies on this topic have come to similar conclusions."
"In response to the Trump administration’s withdrawal of support for the international Paris Climate Agreement last year, the City Council adopted Resolution 31757, affirming Seattle's commitment to the goals established in the Paris Agreement, and directing the Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) to identify the actions necessary to do our part to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The resulting actions, developed under the leadership of Mayor Durkan, reflect a tipping point in the transition to Seattle’s zero emissions future. They are designed to move beyond incremental change and fundamentally reshape our building and transportation systems for a fossil fuel-free future."
This Electric Vehicle Strategy focuses on electrification of the public transit system, shared vehicles and the private automobiles that remain in use, which is one of many strategies the City is taking to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. This strategy also seeks to maximize the benefits of air quality and affordability for low-income residents and parts of Portland that are the most dependent on private vehicles.
The EV Ecosystem Strategy builds on the City’s experience with electric vehicles, or “EVs”, since 2007; and, formalizes the City’s role in the expansion of charging options until the year 2021. As part of the Renewable City Strategy, the City committed to developing an electric vehicle infrastructure strategy to support the transition to renewably-powered transportation, this is the first five-year strategy to make that a reality.
Concerns over rising fuel prices and greenhouse-gas emissions have prompted research into the influences of built environments on travel, notably vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Accessibility to basic employment has comparatively modest effects, as do size of urbanized area, and rail-transit supplies and usage. Nevertheless, urban planning and city design should be part of any strategic effort to shrink the environmental footprint of the urban transportation sector.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has, through scenario planning, already begun to consider the effects that emerging technologies such as AVs and accelerated broadband might have on travel patterns. This report moves another step forward. It identifies and explores transportation technology trends, their potential impacts, and their policy implications, both generally and those specific to the Atlanta region. The result is intended to help support the Atlanta region in developing a regional transportation technology program to prepare for and take advantage of technology innovations in support of the region’s goals.
New data from the US EPA on power plant greenhouse gas emissions are in, and electric vehicles (EV) in the US are even cleaner than they were before. The climate change emissions created by driving on electricity depend on where you live, but on average, an EV driving on electricity in the U.S. today is equivalent to a conventional gasoline car that gets 80 MPG, up from 73 MPG in our 2017 update.
"In the United States, road infrastructure funding is declining due to an increase in fuel efficiency and the non-adjustment of fuel taxes to inflation. Legislation to tax plug-in vehicles has been proposed or implemented in several states. This paper assesses (1) the magnitude of the decline in federal fuel tax revenue caused by plug-in vehicles and (2) quantifies the revenue that could be generated from a federal plug in vehicle registration fee.
This article examines the burgeoning future of electric buses and the possible impacts it may have on society.
The purpose of this document is to identify and outline the policies, programs and strategies being adopted by the City of Portland (City), as part of a regionally coordinated effort to promote and integrate electric vehicles (EVs) into our transportation system and to capitalize on local economic development opportunities from this emerging industry.
This report estimates that by 2030, a substantial share of the 175 million Americans who live in the nation's largest cities will turn to SAEVs, cutting transportation costs by nearly 50%, reclaiming time instead of losing hours a day to traffic and putting up with all the expense and hassle of urban automobile ownership. SAEV fleets will account for nearly 25% of all auto passenger miles traveled in the US by 2030. Such a change will have an enormous impact on health, safety, and quality of life in cities: Traffic accidents and fatalities will be reduced by nearly two-thirds. Pollution will be drastically curtailed. Cities can repurpose millions of square feet once used for parking to new green spaces or commercial uses while securing more affordable mobility and accessibility for elderly, disabled, and low-income people.
This report, BCG's latest on AVs, examines the case for AVs as a cornerstone of the urban mobility revolution, as seen through the experience of Boston. It describes transportation challenges, strategic considerations, scenario modeling and simulations, and field testing.
"This paper identifies three promising applications of new mobility services by public transit agencies, and presents economic, social, and environmental modeling that illustrate the value of such partnerships to mass transit systems."
NYC Transit and MTA bus have a combined fleet of about 5,700 buses for public transportation in New York City. The fleet currently consists of a mix of diesel, hybrid diesel and CNG (compressed natural gas) buses. Electric buses have vastly lower greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions than the current fleet. The MTA will have challenges associated with a changeover to electric buses, but effective planning can make the change nearly invisible to customers. The recommendation of this analysis is that New York City should begin taking steps to convert the bus fleet to all electric.
This paper models the market potential of a fleet of shared, autonomous, electric vehicles (SAEVs) 20 by employing a multinomial logic mode choice model in an agent-based framework and different 21 fare settings.
"The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the state of automated vehicle (AV) technology in transit. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) wishes to know what AV technology is currently available that could be used in transit with an eye towards possible demonstration projects."
This paper presents an analysis of the data and frames it in a broader context. It concludes with a description of FTA actions that address climate change.
This paper describes research undertaken to establish plausible fuel-speed curves (FSC) for hypothetical advanced powertrain vehicles. These FSC are needed to account for the effects of congestion in long-term transportation scenario analysis considering fuel consumption and emissions. The results presented in this paper will assist analysis of the roles that vehicle technology and congestion mitigation can play in reducing fuel consumption and emissions from roadway travel.
The focus of this paper is around GHG emissions reduction potentials by electrifying transportation methods around the world.
This article discusses the changes that will be necessary once AVs hit our streets. The changes in insurance policies, jobs, land use, etc. will change our societal norms.
Upon the roll-out of AVs into our streets, the importance of public and private sector partnerships are emphasized. With increased mobility, the demand for private rides could be increased and therefore increase congestion in our streets.
The forces that will influence the environmental impacts of large-scale AV adoption are identified to help determine necessary future research directions. It is too early to determine which of these forces will dominate the system and dictate whether AV adoption will result in net reductions or increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The environmental research community must develop a better understanding of the disruptive forces of AVs to help develop a strategy to reduce transportation emissions. Particular emphasis is needed regarding how AVs will be adopted and used, as these patterns may ultimately dictate the environmental impacts of AVs. Without better integration of engineering, social science, and planning disciplines to model future adoption scenarios, important opportunities to steer markets toward sustainable outcomes will be lost.
For 50 years, American geography and land use has been centered on the personal car. The three revolutions in vehicle sharing, automation and electrification present new challenges and also great opportunities for land use and transportation planners. Absent policy reform, the three revolutions may contribute to more sprawl, but a sustainable planning approach that supports both higher-density development and lower single-occupant (or zero-occupant) driving can once again put people first rather than their cars.
"Completing urban freight deliveries is increasingly a challenge in congested urban areas, particularly when delivery trucks are required to meet time windows. Depending on the route characteristics, Electric Assist (EA) cargo bicycles may serve as an economically viable alternative to delivery trucks. The purpose of this paper is to compare the delivery route cost trade-offs between box delivery trucks and EA cargo bicycles that have the same route and delivery characteristics, and to explore the question, under what conditions do EA cargo bikes perform at a lower cost than typical delivery trucks?"
This White Paper offers a prototype framework for integrated shared, electric and automated mobility (SEAM) governance. The SEAM Governance Framework Prototype has four phases: (i) governance work principles outlining essential approaches to be considered by developers of SEAM governance; (ii) governance visions, including objectives that the authors believe should be embedded in SEAM governance development goals; (iii) governance instrumentation stock, where creative and exhaustive tools for public- and private-sector actors are presented by type and priority (“SEAM rank”); and (iv) policy evaluation tips and tools, which highlight issues that typically impede the evaluation of governance instruments and present evaluation models.
This paper is focused on the analysis of the four Italian pilots, three in Genoa and one in Milan, highlighting the peculiarities of each one and investigating the data collected in the 12 months test. Each pilot represents a specific and well defined case study. The data used for the elaboration of this paper have been collected by pilot companies and, for the Italian pilots, elaborated by Poliedra – Politecnico di Milano.
Forth, a Portland-based mobility group, will receive funding for the Clean Rural Shared Electric Mobility (CRUSE) Project from the U.S. Department of Energy for Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research. The CRUSE Project seeks to demonstrate that round trip plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) carsharing can serve rural communities while benefitting low income residents and local businesses. This project will bring the carsharing model to rural communities, where private investment might otherwise never go.
In many countries the revenue from gasoline taxes is used to fund highways and other transportation infrastructure. As the number of electric vehicles on the road increases, this raises questions about the effectiveness and equity of this financing mechanism. In this paper, we ask whether electric vehicle drivers should pay a mileage tax.
This article highlights the disaster that could be the continuation of everyone thinking they need their own car for each trip they take and how we need to get serious about expanding the sharing economy.