by Michael Sivak. In a recent article, I examined changes in distance driven in the United States during the period from 1984 through 2017. Distance driven per person reached a maximum in 2004. While this rate has been on a rebound since 2013, the 2017 rate is still down from... Read more →


The benefits of connected, self-driving cars (CAVs) will likely induce vehicle owners to drive more, and those extra miles could partially or completely offset the potential energy-saving benefits that automation may provide, according to a new University of Michigan study. In the coming years, self-driving cars are expected to yield... Read more →


MINI USA survey finds 73% say 75 miles EV range sufficient for daily use

According to a new survey MINI USA recently commissioned from market research and business intelligence firm Engine International, Inc, 63% of consumers said the best way to use an EV is for commuting or city driving, At the same time, 73% of consumers surveyed said that battery range of up... Read more →


Most vehicles, including cars, vans, motorcycles and scooters, will need to meet new, tighter exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge to travel within the area of London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which comes into effect today. Motorbike insurer Bikesure recently surveyed 1,000 commuters in London to find out... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. Compared with cars, SUVs consume more energy per vehicle mile. Consequently, SUVs emit more carbon dioxide per vehicle mile than do cars. However, in the United States, the typical occupancy is higher for SUVs than for cars. The issue of interest in this study was the resultant... Read more →


ASU research finds that Cash for Clunkers rebates were too high to prompt car upgrades

New research from a team at Arizona State University shows that even when receiving a big rebate from the government, consumers won’t always behave in expected ways. The study found that people would have been more likely to upgrade their cars if rebates had been less and if they had... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. Recently, the amount of retail e-commerce in the United States increased rapidly in terms of both the absolute volume and the percentage of all sales. For example, retail e-commerce sales during the fourth quarter of 2007 totaled $36.2 billion (in current dollars), or 3.5% of all retail... Read more →


Volvo Cars to limit all its cars to 180 km/h (112 mph); geo-fenced limits possible in future; proposals coming on intoxication and distraction

Volvo Cars, as a worldwide leader in safety, will limit the top speed on all its cars to 180 km/h (112 mph) from 2020. The company’s Vision 2020, which aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020, is one of the most... Read more →


A researcher at the University of San Diego has used energy meter-level data from the San Diego region to analyze the energy load profiles of residential customers under the time-of-use (TOU) rate with and without EV charging requirements. Unlike previous forecasts on the effects of EV charging loads, the energy... Read more →


Rice, Texas Tech study finds automated cars and their operators fail to detect dangers

New research from Rice University and Texas Tech University has found that drivers often fail to spot hazards missed by automated vehicles, and it only gets worse the longer drivers ride in them. The study is published in the journal Human Factors. The researchers examined the behavior of 60 licensed... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This article is the latest publication in a series examining recent changes in various aspects of motorization in the United States. The focus here is on distance driven per person and per household, as opposed to the absolute distance driven (which depends, in part, on the continuously... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz considers empathy and trust to be central factors for the acceptance of self-driving vehicles. For people to have trust in the machine, they must immediately and intuitively be able to recognise what an autonomous vehicle intends to do. Mercedes-Benz is conducting research into this “informed trust” with the help... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. In a 2011 article, Brandon Schoettle and I showed that the proportion of young Americans aged 16 to 39 years with a driver’s license decreased substantially from 1983 to 2008. (In contrast, the proportion of older persons with a driver’s license increased during the same period.) This... Read more →


UC Santa Cruz prof suggests self-driving cars will torpedo parking pricing as effective congestion management policy; “incentive to create havoc”

With no need to park, autonomous vehicles (AVs) will clog city streets and slow traffic to a crawl, according to a new paper by University of Santa Cruz transportation planner Adam Millard-Ball, an associate professor of environmental studies. However, a policy fix could address these problems before autonomous vehicles become... Read more →


Volkswagen customers in Germany ordering more diesel vehicles; share of 43% in 2018, vs. 39% in 2017

Customers of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand in Germany are once again placing more orders for diesel vehicles. In 2018, the share of incoming orders for vehicles equipped with the latest diesel technology as a proportion of the overall vehicle portfolio was 43% compared to 39% in 2017. Demand for... Read more →


Manipulating a cellphone was a contributing factor in more than 800 crash deaths on US roads during 2017 amid a marked increase in the percentage of drivers observed interacting with cellphones, new IIHS research indicates. The estimated number of deaths, however, still represents a fraction of the overall crash death... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This analysis was conducted to examine changes in traffic volume on rural and urban roads in the United States from 1991 through 2016. The raw data for the analysis were lane length (which takes into account all roadway lanes of travel) and distance traveled, both from the... Read more →


Under current policies, home energy storage systems would also often increase carbon emissions, according to a study by a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The researchers selected 16 of the largest utilities companies in the country and... Read more →


NZ study shows cycle lanes and walkways cut car use, reduce emissions

Researchers in New Zealand have shown that investing in cycle lanes and walkways encourages people to drive less and cuts carbon emissions. The researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington and Victoria University studied the impact of new cycling and walking paths built in New Plymouth and Hastings in 2011.... Read more →


A new European Joint Research Center (JRC) analysis on the deployment of electric vehicles (EV) in Europe concludes that although the sector evolved significantly between 2010 and 2017, progress is still small to be characterized as full-scale commercialization. In 2010, electric vehicles still represented a niche market. Since then, the... Read more →


California is not on track to meet the greenhouse gas reductions expected under SB 375 for 2020, with emissions from statewide passenger vehicle travel per capita increasing and going in the wrong direction, according to a new report published by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). While overall, California has... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This analysis examines the recent changes in the percentage of people who work at home and changes in time spent commuting to work in the United States and in the 15 largest US cities. The source of the data is the American Community Survey—an ongoing survey by... Read more →


Nearly half of the world’s electric vehicles are in 25 cities, according to a new briefing by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). As of the end of 2017, these 25 cities were home to nearly 1.4 million of the world’s 3.1 million passenger electric vehicles. These 25 cities,... Read more →


Daimler Financial Services, the financial and mobility services arem of Daimler AG, has made a strategic investment in Soul Machines—a New Zealand company re-imagining how humans connect with machines—further to develop the combined use of artificial and emotional intelligence. Daimler is the first premium brand in the automotive sector to... Read more →


Transportation sector stakeholders launch Veloz in California to accelerate adoption of EVs

In California, public and private stakeholders in the transportation sector launched a new organization—Veloz—to accelerate the adoption of EVs. Its first project, “Electric For All,” is the largest multi-stakeholder, multi-million dollar public awareness campaign in North America. Veloz also announced major commitments from utilities and Electrify America. Veloz members include:... Read more →


CU Denver study finds ride-hailing increases vehicle miles traveled

Ride-hailing accounts for approximately an 83.5% increase in the miles cars travel for ride-hailing passengers in Denver’s metro area, according to a study published this week in the journal Transportation by researchers at the University of Colorado Denver. For this study, the conservative (lower end) percentage of deadheading miles from... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. The usual focus of analyses of road transportation is on vehicle-distance traveled, without taking into account the number of passengers in the vehicle. In contrast, air-transportation analyses typically include passenger-distance traveled among the variables of interest. The present analysis examines the changes in passenger-distance traveled in both... Read more →


Gallup poll finds decrease in percentage of US commuters driving themselves to work

Although the vast majority of American workers remain reliant on cars to get to work, the percentage has decreased. In 2007, 85% of Americans drove themselves to work and 6% rode with someone else. By 2018, while the 6% of Americans who carpool has remained constant, there has been a... Read more →


The turnover of household vehicles has slowed since 2009, based on US Department of Transportation surveys of household vehicle travel, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported. The 2017 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) reported that the average vehicle—including cars, trucks, and vans—has increased from 9.3 years in 2009 to... Read more →


ABI Research forecasts EV mileage share to exceed 20% by 2030, driven by car-sharing fleets

A new report by ABI research forecasts that a proportionately higher uptake of EVs in car-sharing fleets, and the higher utilization rates of those EVs, will result in global electric mileage share to exceed 20% by 2030. While consumer adoption of EVs continues to disappoint with only 2% of all... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. The American Community Survey (ACS), an ongoing survey by the US Census Bureau, includes estimates of how workers commute. This analysis examines the relation between earnings and commuting patterns. The 2016 data are shown in the table below. The entries are percentages. Driving alone is most likely... Read more →


Study finds car dealerships pose significant barrier to EV adoption

A new study by a team from Aarhus University in Denmark has found that car dealerships pose a significant barrier to electric vehicle adoption at the point of sale due to a perceived lack of business case viability in relation to gasoline and diesel vehicles. Their study is published in... Read more →


Study suggests more active commute could cut risk of developing and dying from heart disease

People who are more active when commuting to work by walking or cycling could be cutting their relative risk of developing ischaemic heart disease or stroke by 11% and their relative risk of dying from these diseases by 30%, suggests an open-access study published in the BMJ journal Heart. Physical... Read more →


API reports record US petroleum production in April: 10.543 million b/d; strongest April demand since 2007

April saw the US produce a record 10,543,000 barrels per day (MBD) of oil, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute. The first four months of this year also saw US petroleum demand average 750,000 barrels a day above the same period in 2017 despite higher prices. Total petroleum... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. When it comes to the types of vehicles on the road, energy consumption, and road safety, we might be better off with more women drivers than men. This is the case because women are more likely to purchase smaller, safer, and more-fuel efficient vehicles; women drive less;... Read more →


Ipsos study finds US among most skeptical of Autonomous Vehicles

Although there is widespread interest in autonomous vehicles (AVs), the US—one of the largest auto markets in the world—expresses higher levels of resistance than most nations, according to a new study by Ipsos, a leading global market research firm. Nearly one in four Americans “would never use” an autonomous vehicle,... Read more →


The UK automotive industry warned that the current anti-diesel agenda combined with the ongoing slow take-up of electric vehicles could mean industry misses its next round of CO2 targets in 2021, with negative consequences for the UK’s own climate change goals. The warning came as a new report published by... Read more →


New Argonne-developed tool helps car buyers compare electric-drive and traditional vehicles

Consumers in seven US Midwest states seeking information about plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles now have access to a new-vehicle purchase guidance tool created by Argonne National Laboratory. The tool was created as a part of an innovative clean-vehicle program recently launched in the Midwest. States currently covered by the... Read more →


Ford is increasing production of two popular full-size SUVs to meet increasing retail demand for both models. The company is increasing line speed at its Kentucky Truck Plant to build more Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition SUVs, boosting production targets approximately 25% since last fall when the SUVs hit the... Read more →


Thirty-seven percent of Southeast Asian consumers planning to buy a car are open to purchasing an electric vehicle, according to a Nissan-commissioned study by Frost & Sullivan. The finding demonstrates the region’s strong potential to speed up the electrification of mobility. Customers in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia emerged as... Read more →


ExxonMobil’s newly released Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 anticipates that global energy needs will rise about 25% over the period to 2040, led by non-OECD countries. While the mix shifts toward lower-carbon-intensive fuels, the world will need to pursue all economic energy sources, the report says. The Outlook... Read more →


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 →