Toyota aims for sales of more than 5.5M electrified vehicles including 1M ZEVS per year by 2030; no models developed without electrified version

Toyota Motor Corporation announced its plans regarding the mass adoption of electrified vehicles for the decade 2020-2030. Toyota’s electrified vehicle strategy centers on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).... Read more →


New York to provide up to $3.5M to accelerate adoption of EVs

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the availability of up to $3.5 million for innovative research and development proposals to accelerate the use of electric vehicles, to reduce the cost of installing and operating charging stations, and to provide recommendations on how they can be used for grid resiliency.... Read more →


Xiamen University team assesses reasons for purchasing EVs in first-tier cities in China; smog a major factor

A team of researchers at Xiamen University in China has examined the factors influencing electric vehicle uptake in major Chinese cities. Boqiang Lin and Wei Wu have put forward an electric vehicle purchasing intention model based on a review of the literature and their survey in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and... Read more →


Researchers find consumers compensate for fuel-efficient car by buying bigger second vehicle; losing 60% of fuel economy savings

An analysis by a team from the University of California, Davis, MIT and Yale suggests that households that buy a fuel-efficient vehicle tend to compensate for that purchase by buying a bigger, more powerful second vehicle. This unintended effect could erode goals of fuel economy standard policies by up to... Read more →


Interest in gasoline engined and hybrid vehicles has jumped in Germany while interest in diesel is falling, according to the latest biennial study on automotive buying trends in that country by leading German fuel retailer Aral. According to the new Trends report, 52% of buyers want a conventional gasoline engine.... Read more →


Austin study teases out changes in behavior in wake of suspension of Uber and Lyft service

Researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Columbia University surveyed more than 1,200 people in Austin, Texas, to examine how their habits changed after Uber and Lyft pulled drivers out of the city due to a local law change. In May 2016, Austin... Read more →


WUSTL study finds use of air conditioning reduces in-car pollution

Traffic is a major source of harmful pollutants; daily peak exposures tend to occur near roadways or while traveling—or being stuck—on them. For example, a team at the University of Surrey found that particulate pollution levels inside cars are up to 40% higher when the vehicle is stuck in a... Read more →


N. American usage of car2go one-way carshare up 40% in 1H 2017 year-on-year to >4.5M trips

car2go N.A., North America’s largest flexible one-way carsharing service, saw a significant increase in use of its service during the first six months of 2017. Usage of car2go increased by 40% year-over-year in the first half of 2017 compared to the first half of 2016 across all 11 of the... Read more →


IHS Markit Survey finds varied autonomy and safety technology preferences for new vehicles

A new IHS Markit survey of five key automotive markets—the US, Canada, China, Germany and the United Kingdom—found that full autonomy technology is not yet popular among a broad audience. On the other hand, the same audience ranked it among the very features they would be willing to pay the... Read more →


Rice study finds Houston intersections with traffic lights 9x more likely to see fatal pedestrian- and bicyclist-automobile crashes

A new report from Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research has found that intersections with traffic lights in Houston are nine times more likely to see fatal car crashes with pedestrians and bicyclists than expected by chance. In comparison, intersections with stop signs were only 1.48 times as likely... Read more →


Germany-based international consultancy Rolad Berger had launched a new publication—the “Automotive Disruption Radar”—to monitor the radical transformation of the automotive industry being driven by four concurrent megatrends: mobility services, autonomous driving, digitalization and electrification (MADE). The Radar analyzes the transformation via 25 selected indicators in five dimensions: Customer interest (e.g.... Read more →


A brain study by researchers from Toyota Central R&D Laboratories, along with a colleague from Japan’s National Institute of Physiological Sciences, has found that drivers show significantly greater gray matter (GM) volume in the left cerebellar hemisphere—which has been associated with cognitive rather than motor functioning—than non-drivers. An open access... Read more →


EIA STEO projects higher US crude production, increases in travel and gasoline demand

In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that US crude oil production, which averaged an estimated 8.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2016, will average 9.2 million b/d in 2017 and 9.9 million b/d in 2018. That level is higher than originally... Read more →


Ford pushing for common industry metrics to understand customer daily electric driving requirements

Based on the benefits of its own analysis of anonymized driving data from its plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicle customers, Ford is encouraging the adoption of a standard way to analyze driving data for OEMs and regulatory agencies to understand the real world electric driving usage in comparison to... Read more →


Solaria Labs, an innovation incubator established in 2015 by Liberty Mutual Insurance, is introducing an open API developer portal that combines public data with proprietary insurance knowledge, helping to inform future products and apps for customers. This technology will be able to help consumers do everything from finding the safest... Read more →


Talking hands-free on a mobile phone while driving is just as distracting as a conversation using a hand-held phone, according to a recent study by researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia. Dr. Shimul (Md Mazharul) Haque, from QUT’s School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment and Centre... Read more →


Ford 2017 trends report: disruption the status quo, “never more difficult” to find objective information

For the past five years, Ford has issued an annual trend report exploring societal shifts expected to influence consumers and brands (e.g., earlier post). The reports have focused on microtrends in consumer behavior; the fifth anniversary edition report—Looking Further with Ford: 2017 Trends—revisits three that surfaced in earlier reports, and... Read more →


US driving topped 2.4 trillion miles in the first nine months of 2016, an increase of 3.0% compared to the same period last year, lengthening a series of consecutive monthly increases that started in April 2014, according to preliminary new data released by the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal... Read more →


Geographers from Dartmouth College and the University of Sheffield have provided new insight into the economic geography of commuter megaregions in the US by using an empirical approach that combines visual interpretation with statistical analysis. The findings appear in an open-access paper in PLOS One and shed light on an... Read more →


Survey: Norwegian PHEVs drive electrically 55% of time, BEVs driven more in total and in everyday traffic

Norway leads the European market for plug-in vehicles, with more than 105,000 units registered through May 2016. A recent survey of 8,000 vehicle owners in Norway by Norway’s Institute of Transport Economics found that plug-in hybrids there drive electrically with power from the grid 55% of the time (and 63%... Read more →


Survey: Fuel efficiency top criterion for US buyers regardless of size of vehicle; good news for start-stop

American consumers are strongly influenced by fuel efficiency and the price of gas when purchasing a vehicle, according to a new survey conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Johnson Controls. Of the 1,006 people surveyed, fuel efficiency (57%) is top of mind for consumers when they go... Read more →


Researchers urge Chinese government to encourage bikes, buses and rail over cars and commercial vehicles due to emissions and health concerns

Based on the results of their analysis of the potential air quality and health impacts of travel demand in China under business-as-usual and alternative transport scenarios, a team of researchers in China is urging policymakers to encourage the replacement of private cars for short trips with bicycles or public buses... Read more →


TÜM study finds reduction in fuel consumption from eco-driving training, even with incentives, to be fleeting

A study of the persistence of effects of eco-driving training by a team from Technische Universität München has found that, while there is an immediate reduction of the average fuel consumption following eco-driving training along with the provision of an incentive, there is an attenuation of this effect after six... Read more →


car2go NA is currently the largest flexible one-way carsharing service in North America. Now, a study conducted by the University of California Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) concludes that car2go’s carsharing model can complement existing mass transit options; reduces the overall number of vehicles on the road; and ultimately... Read more →


UMTRI: US driver preference for automation about the same as last year; most prefer retaining control

Despite greater coverage of driverless technology advancements the past couple of years, most Americans still prefer to drive themselves—at least partially, according to a new report by Brandon Schoettle and Michael Sivak of the U-M Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). The new report is a follow-on to their study last year... Read more →


Only 27.5% of all hybrid and electric vehicle trade-ins in the US in 2016 have been applied to the purchase of another hybrid or EV, according to a new analysis from car shopping destination Edmunds.com. The rate is a sharp drop from the 38.5% of hybrid and EV trade-ins in... Read more →


Audi summarizes electric driving utilization from 4-year Electric Mobility Showcase; 1.4M km for A1 e-tron and A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi gained a wealth of experience from the 1.4 million kilometers (869,919.7 mi) driven as part of the four-year Electric Mobility Showcase in Germany. (Earlier post.) Ahead of the closing conference in Leipzig today, Audi revealed some of the electric driving results for its two models involved: the A1 e-tron... Read more →


NREL releases study on public sentiments on PEVs

NREL has released a new report presenting the findings of a study on the public’s sentiments regarding plug-in vehicles (PEVs), with a focus on vehicle purchasing behaviors, awareness, and barriers to acceptance. Conducted in February 2015, the study—“Consumer Views on Plug-in Electric Vehicles-National Benchmark Report”—covered a 1,015-household sample designed to... Read more →


J.D. Power study finds ACEN technology woes affecting vehicle reliability for consumers

Problems with technology continue to affect vehicle reliability for consumers, according to the J.D. Power 2016 US Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). The number of problems with infotainment, navigation and in-vehicle communication systems—collectively known as audio, communication, entertainment and navigation or ACEN—has increased and now accounts for 20% of all customer-reported... Read more →


UK study finds fifth of car fuel-efficiency savings eroded by increased driving; long-term rebound effect

Around a fifth of the energy-saving benefits of fuel-efficient cars are eroded because people end up driving them more, according to a study into British motoring habits over the last 40 years. Using data from 1970 to 2011, energy experts at the University of Sussex found a long-term rebound effect... Read more →


A study of eco-driving behavior in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) by a team from Technische Universität Chemnitz (Germany) and the University of Southampton (UK) has found that simply providing drivers with a technology that has the potential for high energy savings—i.e., a hybrid—is not sufficient to result in high energy... Read more →


The City of Los Angeles is introducing the Go LA app, powered by Xerox, a solution that integrates all the available methods of getting around the second largest metro area in the United States. Unlike other efforts to improve the daily commute, the Go LA app captures the full range... Read more →


IBM study finds consumers very interested in alternative ownership models for cars, self-enabling vehicles

Consumers expect to use cars differently—showing particular interest in self-enabling vehicles—though they don’t necessarily want to own one in the traditional sense, according to the results of IBM’s automotive consumer study, presented at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. This presents opportunities for automakers to apply analytics... Read more →


A new Conference Board of Canada report finds that Canada is unlikely to achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050. Even when taking into account reduced distances traveled per vehicle, improvements in fuel efficiency, and greater market penetration of alternative technology vehicles, Canada falls... Read more →


Fujitsu Laboratories has begun a field trial that aims to reduce congestion around major events, stadiums, and shopping centers through behavioral guidance. This field trial uses a smartphone application that, based on the expected congestion when people return home from major events, proposes behavior or how to spend time best... Read more →


Potentially unsafe mental distractions for drivers can persist for as long as 27 seconds after dialing, changing music or sending a text using voice commands, according to a pair of new studies for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety by University of Utah researchers. The researchers discovered the residual effects... Read more →


The New Energy Industrial Technology and Development Organization (NEDO), Japan’s largest public R&D management organization, has selected Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and the Japan-based trading company Kanematsu Corporation to analyze electric vehicle use patterns in Northern California. The NEDO project will seek to encourage the use of electric vehicles for... Read more →


INL analysis of 5 large-scale PEV and charging projects finds public charging infrastructure not needed everywhere to enable PEV adoption

Idaho National Laboratory has released the voluminous findings from its analysis of five large-scale PEV and charging infrastructure projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Collectively, these projects represent the largest-ever deployment, data collection and analysis, and reporting of PEV and charging infrastructure petroleum reduction benefits. The results... Read more →


Ford survey in Europe finds SUVs highly desired by Millenials; projected acceleration of SUV boom

A new survey sponsored by Ford Motor Company in Europe found that SUVs are highly desired by Millennials (ages 17-34), suggesting that Europe’s SUV boom is poised to accelerate as the generation reaches prime new-car-buying age. Ford is showing the European-specification Ford Edge large SUV for the first time at... Read more →


Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new fuel cell catalyst using earth-abundant materials with performance that is comparable to platinum in laboratory tests. The nanofibrous non-precious metal catalyst (NPMC) is synthesized by electrospinning a polymer solution containing a mixture of ferrous organometallics and... Read more →


A new report produced by INRIX and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) shows that traffic congestion in the US has returned to pre-recession levels. Washington, D.C. tops the list of gridlock-plagued cities, with 82 hours of delay per commuter, followed by Los Angeles (80 hours), San Francisco (78 hours),... Read more →


US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates show that US driving topped 1.54 trillion miles in the first half of 2015, beating the previous record of 1.5 trillion miles, set in June 2007. This is more than double the amount driven during the same period in 1981,... Read more →


Hawai‘i Governor signs bill setting 100% renewable portfolio standard for electricity sector by 2045

Hawai‘i Governor David Ige this week signed into law four energy bills, including one (HB623) directing the state’s utilities to generate 100% of their electricity sales from renewable energy resources by 2045. This makes Hawai‘i the first state in the nation to set a 100% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for... Read more →


EIA AEO2015 projects elimination of net US energy imports in 2020-2030 timeframe; transportation energy consumption drops

The Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015) released today by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that US energy imports and exports will come into balance—a first since the 1950s—because of continued oil and natural gas production growth and slow growth in energy demand. AEO2015 presents updated projections for US... Read more →


DOE awarding $6M to 11 projects to accelerate alternative fuel vehicle market growth

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $6 million to 11 projects aimed at improving potential buyers’ experiences with alternative fuel and plug-in electric vehicles, supporting training, and integrating alternative fuels into emergency planning. Through the Clean Cities program, these projects address many of the challenges limiting the use... Read more →


CMU, Ford, Drexel study suggests Chinese more receptive to adopting BEVs than Americans, regardless of subsidies

Results from a study by a team from Carnegie Mellon University, Ford and Drexel University suggest that Chinese consumers are more receptive to adopting battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) than their American counterparts, regardless of subsidies. The study is published in the journal Transportation Research Part A. The team modeled consumer preferences... Read more →


Ford opens new Silicon Valley research center; focus on connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, big data

Ford has opened its new Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto, growing its global research team and accelerating the company’s work in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data. The new Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto joins Ford’s global network of research and innovation centers, including its... Read more →


During the Automotive News World Congress this week, IBM released results of its new Automotive 2025 Global Study, outlining an industry ripe for disruptive changes that are breaking down borders of the automotive ecosystem. The study forecasts that while the automotive industry will offer a greater personalized driving experience by... Read more →


Average miles driven by LEAF owners in European countries, compared to average ICE driver. Data: Nissan. Click to enlarge. Based on telemetry data from its CarWings system, Nissan revealed that European owners of the battery-electric LEAF drive more than 50% further per year (10,307 miles, 16,588 km) than the European... Read more →


Ford issues 2015 trends report; the emergent role of Generation Z

Ford has issued its third annual trends report, a compilation of consumer research and insights from thought leaders around the world, which is intended to provide a look at micro-trends expected to influence products and brands for 2015 and beyond. From the growing influence of young, socially conscious consumers, to... Read more →