A new study finds that from April to July American households spent an extra $6 billion to power their homes after a 10% rise in residential electricity use during the pandemic. To reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19, roughly one-third of Americans are working from home. As a result of... Read more →

IIHS studies find most e-scooter rider injuries happen on sidewalk

City planners and many pedestrians have wondered how to get electric scooters off the sidewalk, but two new studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety raise a different question: Just where should e-scooters be ridden? We didn’t see many e-scooter crashes with motor vehicles, and that may be a... Read more →

Ipsos’ new 2020 Global Mobility Navigator Study, focusing on Electrification, found global interest remained on par with the numbers from 2019. However, the study reveals there has been an increase in interest in the US and Chinese markets. Source: Ipsos Ipsos attributes this increased interest can be attributed to the... Read more →

Developed and periodically updated by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. Last updated on October 19, 2020. The new values since the previous update are in blue. The changes are in percent relative to the corresponding month in 2019. They are adjusted for both population and 2020 being a leap year... Read more →

Democrats continue to drive less than Republicans in response to the pandemic

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. In two recent analyses, I have shown that, during the pandemic, the decrease in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the states with preference for Democrats was greater than in the states with preference for Republicans. This was the case in both March 2020 (the... Read more →

In August 2020, cumulative US plug-in vehicle sales reached 1.6 million units, according to data gathered by Argonne National Laboratory. Plug-in vehicles consist of both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Source: Argonne National Laboratory, Light Duty Electric Drive Vehicles Monthly Sales Updates, August 2020. A... Read more →

Fraunhofer ISI/ICCT analysis of PHEV data finds real-world CO2 emissions 2-4x higher than official values

A new analysis of the real-world usage of more than 100,000 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles shows a large deviation between on-road CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency and the official vehicle type-approval values. The results of the joint study, released by German Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI and... Read more →

The UK’s driving population has veered towards increased environmental consciousness, with 76% of the population admitting that they are aware of the environmental impacts of driving. However, a recent survey by RingGo, the UK’s leading cashless parking provider, found that only two-fifths of UK drivers say that they are planning... Read more →

OPIS: Recovery of US gasoline demand stalls as summer driving season ends

The recovery in US gasoline consumption has plateaued as the summer driving season comes to an end and the school year begins for wide swaths of the country. Latest data by OPIS, an IHS Markit company, shows that demand actually fell 1.9% during the last full week of August from... Read more →

Ansys releases pre-lockdown global survey on vehicle electrification

Before the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, engineering simulation software companyAnsys commissioned a global survey of 16,037 adults resulting in some insights about consumer attitudes toward vehicle electrification. Among the findings: Less than half of Americans (39%) consider related emissions when they travel. In contrast, worldwide 66% consider those travel-related emissions. In... Read more →

Who is driving less in response to the pandemic, Democrats or Republicans? A June update

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. In a recent analysis, I have shown that in March 2020 (the first month with the pandemic), the decrease in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the states with preference for Democrats was greater than in the states with preference for Republicans. The present analysis... Read more →

Quantifying the recently changed relationship between e-commerce and traditional retail sales

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. In a recent article, I have shown that, in the United States, despite a large increase in e-commerce retail sales, traditional retail sales (adjusted for population and inflation) have stayed virtually unchanged from 2015 through 2019. Specifically, during that time period, the annual increases... Read more →

Porsche Digital has spun off its own company in the field of e-mobility, thereby expanding its digital business portfolio. “&Charge” offers a digital platform through which users can obtain credit for their online purchases for electric mobility. The start-up, which is based in Frankfurt am Main in Germany, thus offers... Read more →

MITEI Mobility Systems Center awards four projects for low-carbon transportation research

The Mobility Systems Center (MSC), one of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI)’s Low-Carbon Energy Centers, will fund four new research projects that will allow for deeper insights into achieving a decarbonized transportation sector,including Covid-19 and urban mobility; strategies for electric vehicle charging networks; and infrastructure and economics for hydrogen-fueled transportation.... Read more →

How have our expenditures on motor vehicles changed during the pandemic?

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. In this study, I examined the relative expenditures on motor vehicles in the United States from March through June 2020—the first four months of the current pandemic. The raw data for the calculations—seasonally adjusted dollar amounts of sales for each month—came from the U.S.... Read more →

NUS researcher links air pollution to increased residential electricity demand

A study conducted by Associate Professor Alberto Salvo from the Department of Economics at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences found that households respond to ambient air pollution by increasing electricity consumption, which in turn increases the carbon emissions that are co-produced in supplying... Read more →

Differential effects of the current pandemic on the sales of light-duty vehicles and heavy trucks

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. Light-duty vehicles (cars and light trucks) are being purchased primarily by individuals, while heavy trucks by companies. Therefore, an examination of the recent changes in the sales of vehicles in these two classes provides some information about the economic impact (both actual and anticipated)... Read more →

CIPS poll finds 15% of businesses will no longer maintain their plans for sustainable supply chains due to the impact of COVID-19

A short poll by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) has found that the disruption caused by COVID-19 will lead to permanent changes in global supply chains, as businesses look to adapt to new ways of working and managing the varying stages of lockdown around the world. This... Read more →

Industry survey finds >57% of auto tech leaders expect COVID-19 to increase consolidation; >85% predict lasting impact on shared mobility

A global survey of more than survey found that more than 120 auto tech leaders by Informa Tech Automotive Group found that 57% expect that COVID-19 will quicken the pace and rate of consolidation within the automotive industry. In addition, with an increased reluctance to use public transportation, more than... Read more →

A team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Aramco Services Company, MIT, the Michigan Department of Transportation and Argonne National Laboratory has developed a machine-learning-based model (Pandemic Oil Demand Analysis, PODA) to project the US medium-term gasoline demand in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and to study the impact... Read more →

Flying declined substantially more than driving during the current pandemic

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. In this brief note, I examine the distances traveled by flying and driving in the United States in March and April 2020—the first two months of the current pandemic—and compare them with the corresponding distances in March and April 2019. The raw data for... Read more →

US airlines carried 89% fewer scheduled service passengers in May 2020 than in May 2019, according to preliminary data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by 20 airlines that carry more than 90% of the passengers. Source: DOT BTS. Despite the large drop from May 2019, US airlines... Read more →

York study finds post-lockdown UK traffic getting back to normal but air remains cleaner as congestion is down

Air pollution is lower than expected in some of the UK’s towns and cities, despite a return to almost normal traffic levels, according to a new study by researchers at the University of York. The study’s findings show that while road traffic is getting back to pre-lockdown levels, some concentrations... Read more →

Study finds automatic monitors significantly improve the quality of pollution data reported in China

A new study finds that automated pollution monitors in China led to more accurate readings and that citizens used this information to protect themselves better against the harms of air pollution. Less than a decade ago, not only was air pollution a recognized problem in China, but many didn’t trust... Read more →

OPIS: US gasoline demand more than “halfway” back from pandemic-induced lows

Gasoline consumption in the United States is now more than halfway back to pre-COVID-19 levels as motorists get back on the road amid at least a partial recovery of the US economy, according to OPIS, an IHS Markit company. Fill-ups at the pump hit the rock bottom in the second... Read more →

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. This note examines the sales of all new light-duty vehicles (cars and light trucks) in the United States in March, April, and May 2020—the first three months of the current pandemic—and compares them with the sales in February 2020. The raw data were annualized,... Read more →

The COVID-19 pandemic has set in motion the largest drop in global energy investment in history, with spending expected to plunge in every major sector this year—from fossil fuels to renewables and efficiency—the International Energy Agency said in a new report. Energy investment is set to fall by one-fifth in... Read more →

Who is driving less? Democrats or Republicans?

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. The latest data from the Federal Highway Administration on the amount of driving in the United States indicate that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in March of this year decreased by 18.6% compared with March 2019. However, the decrease in VMT varied widely by states,... Read more →

Every new Volvo car now comes with a limited top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph), as Volvo Cars delivers on its promise made last year to introduce such a limitation and goes beyond regulation and legislation to help close the remaining gap to zero serious injuries and fatalities in... Read more →

Teletrac Navman big-data analysis of driving behaviors for the initial five weeks of federal COVID-19 emergency

Teletrac Navman, a global software-as-a-service provider that leverages location-based technology and services for managing mobile assets, has issued a report of driving behaviors across millions of miles driven by a sample of its connected vehicles in the US during the first 36 days of the federal declaration of emergency due... Read more →

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that US energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will decline by 11% in 2020. If realized, this decline would represent the largest decline in not only percentage but also absolute terms in EIA’s energy-related CO2 series that dates back to 1949. Source: U.S. Energy... Read more →

A team from the University of Delaware and the University of Denver has created a new global simulation model to predict how urban land will change over the next 100 years under different social and economic conditions. The research team’s projections show that the amount of urban land on Earth... Read more →

US energy-related CO2 emissions declined by 2.8% in 2019 to 5,130 million metric tons (MMmt), according to data in the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Monthly Energy Review. CO2 emissions had increased by 2.9% in 2018, the only annual increase in the past five years. Because of continuing trends in... Read more →

Motorbike insurer Bikesure recently surveyed 1,000 commuters in London to find out how the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has impacted them. Bikesure’s first conducted its ULEZ survey in 2019. Even though the ULEZ has been temporarily suspended to support key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, this survey explores the... Read more →

A new report from the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis has found that total US vehicle miles traveled (VMT) at the county and state level have declined by 61% to 90% following the various government stay-at-home orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from... Read more →

Compared to “business-as-usual”, by September 2020 international air passenger totals could drop by as many as 1.2 billion travellers according to the latest projections from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO ran two projections compared to baseline: V-shaped path (a first sign of recovery in late May); and U-shaped... Read more →

J.D. Power: Consumer sentiment on future mobility technologies lags far behind automakers plans

Consumer confidence in future mobility technologies lags far behind automakers’ plans to bring self-driving and battery-electric vehicles to the marketplace, according to the J.D. Power 2020 Q1 Mobility Confidence Index Study fueled by SurveyMonkey Audience. The Mobility Confidence Index for self-driving vehicles decreases for the first time—to 35 from 36... Read more →

GHSA: absent traffic jams, many drivers getting more reckless

Emptier streets may be encouraging some drivers to flaunt traffic safety laws, including speed limits, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Despite there being far fewer vehicles on the road due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, state highway safety officials across the country are seeing a severe spike in... Read more →

Traffic accidents and crash-related injuries and deaths were reduced by half during the first three weeks of California’s shelter-in-place order, which began March 20. The reductions save the state an estimated $40 million per day—about $1 billion over the time period—according to an updated special report released from the Road... Read more →

Researchers from Surrey’s Global Center for Clean Air Research (GCARE) in the UK have investigated the amount of harmful air pollutants babies potentially inhale while out in a stroller with their parents or caretakers. The study looked at three different stroller types—single facing the road, single facing the adult and... Read more →

GlobalData: COVID-19 puts EV sales and CO2 fleet emission targets at risk

GlobalData research shows that lower oil prices as a result of the COVID-19 crisis could reduce electric vehicle demand and impair EU efforts to significantly reduce average new vehicle CO2 emissions in the European car market. GlobalData’s analysis suggests that low oil prices will lead to a longer waits for... Read more →

IPSOS study finds private cars jump to 1st place as preferred means of transport in China; protection against infection

In a recent study by the market research institute Ipsos, two out of three respondents say that they prefer their own car to public transport—twice as many as before the COVID-19 outbreak. At the end of February, Ipsos asked 1,620 Chinese citizens about their mobility preferences, and the fear of... Read more →

A sudden drop in miles traveled by car in the US triggered by wide-spread social isolation measures will have immediate ramifications for gasoline demand. IHS Markit analysis finds that US gasoline demand could fall by as much as 4.1 million barrels per day (MMb/d) during the COVID-19 response period. The... Read more →

Toyota Research Institute launches research into understanding and predicting human behavior for decision making; Machine Assisted Cognition

The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is expanding its exploratory research with the launch of Machine Assisted Cognition (MAC), a new initiative to develop and demonstrate artificial intelligence tools that can understand and predict human behavior in the context of decision making. A key pillar of TRI’s charter is to explore... Read more →

INRIX has published the first in what it says will be an ongoing series of reports on road traffic demand changes from the COVID-19 virus spread. The report finds that COVID-19 has reduced traffic by 30% nationwide so far in March. Source: INRIX. Total volume first dropped nationally on 13... Read more →

Data from the ESA’s Tropomi (TROPOspheric Monitoring) instrument on board the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite shows the variation of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions over China from December to March. A decline in NO2 corresponds to the outbreak of COVID-19 and a subsequent resurgence corresponds to the succes of measures to contain... Read more →

A new open-access study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that motor vehicle crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) below the legal limit of 0.08% accounted for 15% of alcohol-involved crash deaths in the United States. Of these deaths, 55% of fatalities were individuals other than... Read more →

By Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. This is my latest update on the recent changes in the number of registered vehicles in the United States. In the previous analysis, I examined the data from 1984 through 2017. This analysis adds new calculations for 2018. The focus in this series is... Read more →

Only 6.2 million light-duty vehicles were sold worldwide in January—the lowest monthly figure since January 2012, which saw 5.9 million units sold, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company. Driving the drop in sales was the emergence in December 2019 of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China. The disease... Read more →

In addition to the European car market recording tepid growth in 2019, CO2 emissions have continued to increase, despite new regulation designed to curtail this, according to JATO Dynamics. Last year, the volume-weighted average CO2 emissions for European markets were at their highest recorded levels since 2014. According to data... Read more →