[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
US PIRG report finds reduced driving and rates of car commuting in most populous US urbanized areas
December 08, 2013
|VMT per capita has declined across the US (2006 to 2011). States with shading are missing reliable data for all or part of an urbanized area, and ‘X’s denote the location of excluded urbanized areas. Source: US PIRG. Click to enlarge.|
A new report by the US PIRG Education Fund and the Frontier Group details reduced driving miles and rates of car commuting in the US’ most populous urbanized areas, as well as greater use of public transit and biking in most cities. The average American drives 7.6% fewer miles today than when per-capita driving peaked in 2004.
The report, “Transportation in Transition: A Look at Changing Travel Patterns in America’s Biggest Cities,” is based on the most current available government data and is, according to US PIRG, the first national study to compare transportation trends for America’s largest cities and lists results for each. Among the report’s national findings:
UMTRI survey explores receptivity of drivers to on-board carbon capture technology
September 17, 2013
Researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) recently conducted an online survey of driver option to determine how receptive drivers would be to adopting—and how much they might pay for—in-vehicle technology that reduce carbon emissions.
The driver survey is the team’s second study on this topic; the first, published in 2012, provided a general review of the area, with a primary focus on post-combustion technologies for light vehicles: absorption; membrane separation; and adsorption. The first study concluded that factors that might affect driver acceptance of in-vehicle carbon capture included the added initial cost of the technology; the probable on-board storage required; possible impact on fuel economy; and changes in the routine tasks involved in vehicle upkeep. The researchers—John M. Sullivan, Michael Sivak, and Brandon Schoettle—developed the second study, the driver survey, directly to probe drivers on these issues.
Ford aggregate driver data show its PHEV owners operate in electric mode nearly 60% of the time
July 30, 2013
Ford plug-in hybrid owners are operating in electric mode nearly 60% of the time, according to new aggregate data collected from Ford’s MyFord Mobile app.
MyFord Mobile is available on Ford’s plug-in (PHEV) and battery-electric (BEV) vehicles, Fusion Energi, C-MAX Energi and Focus Electric, and is available for download both through the App Store and Google Play. Early aggregate data collected through vehicles tied to MyFord Mobile show nearly 60% of total PHEV miles driven every day are in electric mode, and that there is an improvement in this figure over the first 30 days of vehicle ownership.
TU Dresden study on external costs of automotive transportation in Europe calls for internalization of the high external costs; raising user prices to change behavior
December 26, 2012
|Average external costs from cars per 1,000 vkm by country. Click to enlarge.|
A recent study from Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) commissioned by the Greens/European Free Allianace (EFA) in the European Parliament concluded that the cars used within the EU-27 externalize up to about €373 billion (US$493 billion) per year (high estimate) of costs on to other people, other regions and other generations. The low estimate is external costs of €258 billion (US$341 billion).
The study focused on the larger environmental costs of car traffic (plus accident costs not covered by insurance)—i.e., air pollution; noise, upstream and downstream effects (covering all effects before and after the actual trip is performed); smaller other effects (land use, separational effects etc.); and climate change (focused on avoidance costs rather than damage costs). Neither infrastructure costs (area purchase, construction, maintenance, demolition, administration of infrastructure) nor congestion costs were included.