Skip to main content
×
Home

Implications of sustainability for the United States light-duty transportation sector

  • Chris Gearhart (a1)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

This paper reviews existing literature to assess the consensus of the scientific and engineering communities concerning the potential for the United States’ light-duty transportation sector to meet a goal of 80% reduction in vehicle emissions and examine what it will take to meet this target.

Climate change is a problem that must be solved. The primary cause of this problem is burning of fossil fuels to generate energy. A dramatic reduction in carbon emissions must happen soon, and a significant fraction of this reduction must come from the transportation sector. This paper reviews existing literature to assess the consensus of the scientific and engineering communities concerning the potential for the United States' light-duty transportation sector to meet a goal of 80% reduction in vehicle emissions and examine what it will take to meet this target. It is unlikely that reducing energy consumption in just vehicles with gasoline-based internal combustion drivetrains will be sufficient to meet GHG emission-reduction targets. This paper explores what additional benefits are possible through the adoption of alternative energy sources, looking at three possible on-vehicle energy carriers: carbon-based fuels, hydrogen, and batteries.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Implications of sustainability for the United States light-duty transportation sector
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Implications of sustainability for the United States light-duty transportation sector
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Implications of sustainability for the United States light-duty transportation sector
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
a) Address all correspondence to Chris Gearhart at chris.gearhart@nrel.gov
References
Hide All
1. World Bank: Turn down the heat. In Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 °C Warmer World Must Be Avoided. World Bank: Washington, DC, 2012.
2. IPCC 2014: Climate change 2014: Synthesis report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Pachaur R.K. and Meyer L.A. eds.; IPCC: Geneva, Switzerland, 2014; p. 151.
3. U.S. Energy Information Agency: Annual Energy Review 2011 (2012). Available at: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/ (accessed: June 10, 2016 ).
4. National Research Council: Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels (The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2013) doi: 10.17226/18264.
5. Melaina M.W., Heath G., Sandor D., Steward D., Vimmerstedt L., Warner E., and Webster K.W.: Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Expansion: Costs, Resources, Production Capacity, and Retail Availability for Low-Carbon Scenarios. Transportation Energy Futures Series (Prepared for the US. Deptartment of Energy by National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, 2013).
6. Luers A.L., Mastrandrea M.D., Hayhoe K., and Frumhoff P.C.: How to avoid Dangerous climate change; a target for U.S. Emissions Reductions (Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, MA, 2007).
7. President Obama sets a target for Cutting U.S. Greenhouse gas emissions. Available at: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/news_detail.cfm/news_id=15650 (accessed: September 3, 2015).
8. Andress D., Das S., Joseck F., and Dean Nguyen T.: Status of advanced light-duty transportation technologies in the US. Energy Policy 41, 348364 (2012).
9. United States Department of Energy: Energy Analysis: Transportation Energy Futures Study (2014). Available at: http://energy.gov/eere/analysis/transportation-energy-futures-study (accessed: June 12, 2016).
10. Vimmerstedt L., Brown A., Newes E., Markel T., Schroeder A., Zhang Y., Chipman P., and Johnson S.: Transformative Reduction of Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Opportunities for Change in Technologies and Systems (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, 2015) NREL/TP-5400–62943.
11. National Research Council: Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles (The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2011) doi: 10.17226/12924.
12. National Research Council: Cost, Effectiveness and Deployment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles (The National Academies Press, Washingon, DC, 2015) doi: 10.17226/21744.
13. Sandy Thomas C.E.: Transportation options in a carbon-constrained world: Hybrids, plug-in hybrids, biofuels, fuel cell electric vehicles, and battery electric vehicles. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 34(23), 92799296 (2009).
14. Vimmerstedt L., Brown A., Heath G., Mai T., Melaina M., Newes E., Ruth M., Simpkins T., Warner E., Bertram K., Plotkin S., Patel D., Stephens T., and Vyas A.: Potential reductions in emissions and petroleum Use in transportation. J. Transp. Res. Board 2375, 3744 (2013).
15. California Energy Commission: Full Fuel Cycle Assessment: Well-to-wheels Energy Inputs, Emissions, and Water Impacts (2007) CEC-600-2007-004-F.
16. Edwards R., Larive J-F., and Beziat J-C.: Well-to-wheels Analysis of Automotive Fuels and Powertrains in the European Context (European Commission Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy, Luxembourg, 2011) EUR 24952 EN—2011.
17. Nguyen T., Ward J., and Johnson K.: Well-to-Wheels Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Petroleum Use for Mid-Size Light-Duty Vehicles (2013) DOE Program Record 13005.
18. Kaya Y.: Impact of Carbon Dioxide Emission Control on GNP Growth: Interpretations of Proposed Scenarios (IPCC Energy and Industry Subgroup, Response Strategies Working Group, Paris, 1990).
19. U.S. Energy Information Agency: Motor Vehicle Mileage, Fuel Consumption, and Fuel Economy (2015). Available at: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec1_19.pdf (accessed: September 18, 2015).
20. U.S. Department of Energy: Alternative Fuels Data Center (2014). Available at: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/fuel_comparison_chart.pdf (accessed: September 18, 2015).
21. U.S. Department of Transportation: National Transportation Statistics (2015). Available at: http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/index.html (accessed: September 7, 2015).
22. Sovran G. and Blaser D.: Quantifying the Potential Impacts of Regenerative Braking on a Vehicle's Tractive-Fuel Consumption for the U.S., European, and Japanese Driving Schedules. SAE Technical Paper Series: Advanced Hybrid Vehicle Powertrains (SP-2008) 2006-01-0664 (2006).
23. Guzzella L. and Sciarretta A.: Vehicle Propulsion Systems: Introduction to Modeling and Optimization (Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 2005).
24. Simpson A.G. and Walker G.R.: A Parametric Analysis Technique for Design of a Fuel Cell and Hybrid-Electric Vehicles. SAE Technical Paper Series 2003-01-2300 (2003).
25. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Dynamometer Drive Schedules (2015). Available at: http://www3.epa.gov/nvfel/testing/dynamometer.htm (accessed: September 18, 2015).
26. U.S. Department of Energy: Where the Energy Goes: Gasoline Vehicles (2015). Available at: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/atv.shtml (accessed: September 26, 2015).
27. Taub A.I., Krajewski P.E., Luo A.A., and Owens J.N.: The evolution of technology for materials processing over the last 50 years: the automotive example. JOM 59(2), 4857 (2007).
28. Taub A.I.: Automotive materials: Technology trends and challenges in the 21st century. MRS Bull. 31, 148 (2006).
29. Lutsey N.: Review of technical literature and trends related to automobile mass-reduction technology (Prepared for California Air Resources Board by The UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, 2010) UCD-ITS-RR-10-10.
30. Brooke L.: The F-150's Aluminum Diet (2014). Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/automobiles/autoshow/the-f-150s-aluminum-diet.html?_r=0 (accessed: June 15, 2016).
31. Cole G.S. and Sherman A.M.: Lightweight materials for automotive applications. Mater. Charact. 35(1), 39 (1995).
32. Committee for the National Tire Efficiency Study of the Transportation Research Board: Tires and Passenger Vehicle Fuel Economy. TRB Special Report 286 (The National Acadamies, Washington, DC, 2006).
33. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: NHTSA Tire Fuel Efficiency Consumer Information Program Development: Phase 2—Effects of Tire Rolling Resistance Levels on Traction, Treadwear, and Vehicle Fuel Economy (2009) NHTSA DOT HS 811 154.
34. Pike E.: Opportunities to Improve Tire Energy Efficiency (2011) The International Council on Clean Transportation ICCT White Paper Number 13.
35. Hucho W-H. and Sovran G.: Aerodynamics of road vehicles. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 25, 485537 (1993).
36. Rugh J. and Farrington R.: Vehicle Ancillary Load Reduction Project Close-Out Report (2008) NREL NREL/TP-540–42454.
37. Davis S.C., Diegel S.W., Boundy R.G., and Moore S.: 2014 Vehicle Technologies Market Report (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, 2015) ORNL/TM-2015/85.
38. Alger T.: Clean and Cool: Cooled EGR improves fuel economy and emissions in gasoline engines (2010). Available at http://www.swri.org/3pubs/ttoday/Summer10/PDFs/Clean-and-Cool.pdf. (accessed: June 15, 2016).
39. Duleep G.: Comparison of Vehicle Efficiency Technology Attributes and Synergy Estimates (2011) NREL NREL/SR-6A20–47806.
40. Colwell K.C.: Engine Stop-Start Systems on Nonhybrid Vehicles: Stop and Go All The Way: A hybrid staple trickles into normal cars with modest initial success (2011). Available at http://www.caranddriver.com/features/engine-stop-start-systems-explained-tech-dept (accessed: December 15, 2015).
41. Saxena S., Phadke A., and Gopal A.: Understanding the fuel savings potential from deploying hybrid cars in China. Applied Energy 113, 11271133 (2014).
42. Ahman M.: Primary energy efficiency of alternative powertrains in vehicles. Energy 26, 973989 (2001).
43. Cuddy M. and Wipke K.: Analysis of the Fuel Economy Benefits of Drivetrain Hybridization (SAE International Congress, Warrendale, PA, 1997) SAE 970289.
44. National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Learning Demonstration Composit Data Product #8 (2009). Available at http://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/cdp_topic.html (accessed: December 12, 2015).
45. Thomas C.E.: Fuel cell and battery electric vehicles compared. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 34(15), 60056020 (2009).
46. Green Car Congress: New Two-Speed Electric Vehicle Transmission For Improved Performance, Range and Battery Life (2009). Available at http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/05/vocis-20090512.html (accessed: December 17, 2015).
47. Green Car Congress: GM Provides Technical Details of the Gen 2 Voltec Propulsion System used in the 2016 Volt (2015). Available at http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/04/20150423-voltec.html (accessed: December 17, 2015).
48. Pesaran A.A., Markel T., Tataria H.S., and Howell D.: Battery requirements for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles: Analysis and rationale. In 23rd International Electric Vehicle Symposium, Anaheim, California, December 2–5, 2007.
49. Tamor M.A., Gearhart C., and Soto C.: A statistical approach to estimating acceptance of electric vehicles and electrification of personal transportation. Transport. Res. C-Emer. 26, 125134 (2013).
50. Andress D., Nguyen T.D., and Das S.: Reducing GHG emissions in the United States' transportation sector. Energy Sustainable Dev. 15(2), 117136 (2011).
51. Moomaw W., Burgherr P., Heath G., Lenzen M., Nyboer J., and Verbruggen A.: Annex II: Methodology. In IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation. Edenhofer O., Pichs-Madruga R., Sokona Y., Seyboth K., Matschoss P., Kadner S., Zwickel T., Eickemeier P., Hansen G., Schlömer S., and Stechow C.V. eds.; Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 2011.
52. U.S. Energy Information Agency: How much gasoline does the United States consume? (2015). Available at http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=23&t=10 (accessed: October 12, 2015).
53. Argonne National Laboratory: Argonne GREET Model (2015). Available at https://greet.es.anl.gov (accessed: December 8, 2015).
54. DeCicco J.M.: Biofuel's carbon balance: Doubts, certainties and implications. Clim. Change 121(4), 801814 (2013).
55. Joseck F. and Ward J.: Cradle to Grave Lifecycle Analysis of Vehicle and Fuel Pathways (2014). DOE hydrogen and fuel cells Program Record 14006.
56. Wang M., Wu M., and Huo H.: Life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emission impacts of different corn ethanol plant types. Environ. Res. Lett. 2, 13 (2007).
57. U.S. Department of Energy: Ethanol Feedstocks (2015). Available at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_feedstocks.html (accessed: October 19, 2015).
58. Milbrandt A.: A Geographic Perspective on the Current Biomass Resource Availability in the United States (2005). NREL NREL/TP-560–39181.
59. National Renewable Energy Laboratory: The Biofuels Atlas (2015). Available at https://maps.nrel.gov/biofuels-atlas/-/?aL=yilN7K%255Bv%255D%3Dt%26yilN7K%255Bd%255D%3D1&bL=groad&cE=0&lR=0&mC=40.21244%2C-91.625976&zL=4 (accessed: October 19, 2015).
60. U.S. Department of Energy: U.S. Billion-Ton Update: Biomass Supply for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry. Perlack R.D. and Stokes B.J. (Leads). ORNL/TM-2011/224 Oak Ridge National Laboratory: Oak Ridge, TN, 2011; 227p.
61. Gross B.K., Sutherland I.J., and Mooiweer H.: Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Assessment (2007). General Motors Corportation GM R&D Report 11065.
62. Melaina M., Penev M., and Heimiller D.: Resource Assessment for Hydrogen Production: Hydrogen Production Potential from Fossil and Renewable Energy Resources (2013). NREL NREL/TP-5400–55626.
63. U.S. Department of Energy EERE: 2014 Renewable Energy Data Book (2015). DOE/GO-102015–4724.
64. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: eGRID2012 (2015). Available at http://www.epa.gov/energy/egrid. (accessed: December 19, 2015).
65. Transportation Research Board and National Research Council: Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (The National Academies Press. Washington, DC, 2015) doi: 10.17226/21725.
66. Gearhart C., Gonder J., and Markel T.: Connectivy and Convergence: Transportation for the 21st Century. In IEEE Electrification Magazine (IEEE Power and Energy Society, Piscataway, NJ, 2014).
67. Brown A., Gonder J., and Repac B.: An analysis of possible energy impacts of automated vehicles. In Road Vehicle Automation. Meyer G. and Beiker S. eds.; Springer International Publishing: Switzerland, 2014; pp. 137153.
68. MacKenzie D., Wadud Z., and Leiby P.: A first order estimate of energy impacts of automated vehicles in the United States. In 2014 TRB Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, 2014.
69. Anderson J.M., Kalra N., Stanley K.D., Sorensen P., Samaras C., and Oluwatola O.A.: Autonomous Vehicle Technology: A Guide for Policymakers (2014) Rand: Transportation, Space, and Technology Program.
70. OECD International Transport Forum: Urban Mobility System Upgrade: How shared self-driving cars could change city traffic (International Transportation Forum, Paris, France, 2015).
71. Barcham R.: Climate and Energy Impacts of Automated Vehicles. (Prepared for the California Air Resources Board by the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 2014).
72. Gonder J., Earleywine M., and Sparks W.: Analyzing vehicle fuel saving opportunities through intelligent driver feedback. SAE International Journal of Passenger cars—Electronic and electrical systems 5(2), 450461 (2012).
73. Greenblatt J.B. and Saxena S.: Autonomous taxis could greatly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions of US light-duty vehicles. Nat. Clim. Change 5(9), 860863 (2015).
74. Gonder J., Wood E., and Rajagopalan S.: Connectivity-enhanced route selection and adaptive control for the Chevrolet Volt . In 21st world Congress on Intelligent Transport systems 2014. Detroit, Michigan September 7–11, 2014. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, 2014). NREL/CP-5400-60960.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

MRS Energy & Sustainability
  • ISSN: 2329-2229
  • EISSN: 2329-2237
  • URL: /core/journals/mrs-energy-and-sustainability
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 88
Total number of PDF views: 381 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1374 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.