Researchers at Toyota Research Institute (TRI) are conducting research with Stanford’s Dynamic Design Lab into how to bring together the instincts of professional drift drivers and automated driving technology. Thee goal is to design a new level of active safety technology and share it broadly so that Toyota and other... Read more →


Volta, a builder of commerce-centric electric vehicle (EV) charging networks, announced an oversubscribed Series D financing of $125 million. Goldman Sachs acted as exclusive placement agent to the company in connection with the financing. Volta builds and operates an EV charging network with the highest utilization in the United States.... Read more →


How much did we use different classes of vehicles just before the pandemic?

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. This analysis examines distances driven per vehicle in different vehicle classes in 2019 (the last year before the pandemic) and compares them with the corresponding values in 2009. The raw data were, for each vehicle class, the total vehicle distance traveled and the number... Read more →


The Continental Mobility Study 2020 shows that enthusiasm for electric cars is strong in China, while reservations still need to be overcome in Germany, France, the US and Japan. The study also shows that acceptance of electric mobility has increased in all five countries surveyed in recent years. The Continental... Read more →


When ridesourcing companies Uber and Lyft show up in urban areas, vehicle registrations per capita increase by 0.7% on average, increasing even more in car-dependent cities, according to a new study led by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. In an open-access paper in the journal iScience, the team estimates the... Read more →


KAUST team uses stochastic geometry to assess deployment of dynamic charging for EVs in cities

By applying statistical geometry to analyzing urban road networks, KAUST researchers have advanced understanding of how wireless charging roads might influence driver behavior and city planning in a future where electric vehicles (EVs) dominate the car market. (Stochastic geometry is a branch of applied probability particularly adapted to the study... Read more →


Global aviation data firm Cirium released its new Airline Insights Review 2020 which reveals the deep impact on aviation of worldwide travel restrictions to curb COVID-19. The report shows that the pandemic and its consequences wiped out 21 years of global passenger traffic growth in a matter of months, reducing... Read more →


ABI: 2021 will be the year EVs begin entry into the automotive mainstream

2021 will kickstart a decade of growing Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption, which will see EV sales move from a rounding error of total new vehicle shipments to more than a quarter of new vehicles shipping in 2030, according to global tech market advisory firm ABI Research. In its new whitepaper,... Read more →


Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a new machine-learning-based tool to help urban transportation analysts relieve bottlenecks and chokepoints that routinely snarl city traffic. The tool—Transportation State Estimation Capability (TranSEC)—was developed to help urban traffic engineers get access to actionable information about traffic patterns in their cities.... Read more →


Continental Mobility Study 2020 shows global trend toward own cars; slump in sharing

The coronavirus pandemic is having a lasting impact on people’s mobility habits all over the world, according to the findings of the Continental Mobility Study 2020. Private car use has seen strong growth, while sharing and hailing services, which have been booming in recent years, are suffering a significant slump.... Read more →


Ford partnering with insurance carriers to use embedded vehicle telematics for behavior-based premiums

Ford is teaming up with insurance carriers across the US to help customers save money on premiums based on driver behavior, utilizing its built-in connectivity technology on eligible vehicles. In addition, Ford Insure and Lincoln Motor Company Insure, underwritten by Nationwide, offer a simple way to secure usage-based policies through... Read more →


NHTSA 2019 data shows significant improvements in traffic safety, including the lowest percentage of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities on record

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its annual 2019 traffic fatality data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Traffic deaths decreased nationwide during 2019 as compared to 2018, and alcohol-impaired driving fatalities decreased to the lowest percentage since 1982, when NHTSA started... Read more →


Despite increased e-commerce sales, third-quarter traditional sales were on par with those a year ago

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. In a recent article, I showed that, adjusted for population and inflation, e-commerce retail sales during the second quarter of 2020 increased by 43.3% compared with second-quarter sales of 2019. In comparison, traditional retail sales decreased by 10.1%. This brief study extends the analysis... Read more →


2020 Thanksgiving week gasoline consumption in US lowest since 1997

US motorists stayed off the road during the Thanksgiving holiday in overwhelming numbers as the coronavirus surged across the country, according to the latest weekly survey of retail fuel stations by OPIS, an IHS Markit company. Gasoline sales fell 8.4% (nearly 185 million less gallons) from the previous week for... Read more →


In a new report, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Enforcement Division (AED) estimates that the emissions controls have been removed from more than 550,000 diesel pickup trucks in the last decade. The AED report includes only tampering that involves the complete removal and disablement of emissions controls hardware.... Read more →


A study by researchers at The Ohio State University suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic had varying effects on demand for public transit in US cities. While demand for public transit dropped about 73% across the country after the pandemic hit, the reduction didn’t impact all cities equally, according to the... Read more →


The average distance per trip for rented scooters in the US in 2019 was one mile, according to data from the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Rented bikes (including e-bikes) were generally used for longer trips. Trips made by bike share members averaged 1.5 miles while trips made by... Read more →


The number of micromobility trips grew 62% from 2018 to 2019 due to the large increase in scooter trips. Shared micromobility refers to small fleets of fully or partially human-powered vehicles including bikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters. Trips on scooters more than doubled from 2018 to 2019 while bike trips increased... Read more →


More than half of UK drivers (57%) say having access to a car is more important than it was before the coronavirus pandemic, with reluctance to use public transport in the future at its highest level in 18 years, according to research for the RAC’s annual Report on Motoring. Although... Read more →


J.D. Power survey finds drastic changes to commuting habits had minimal effect on sentiment in US about BEVs & self-driving

Many vehicle owners in North America are driving fewer miles in the era of COVID-19, but their opinions of future mobility technology haven’t changed much since the first quarter of 2020, according to the J.D. Power 2020 Q3 Mobility Confidence Index Study fueled by SurveyMonkey. However, many automakers are investing... Read more →


On a per capita basis, the transportation sector energy consumption in 2019 was 86 million Btu—a 54% increase from 1950 and about the same level as in 1974. The industrial sector, which had the highest energy consumption, decreased 7% from 1950 to 2019 and decreased 36% from its highest point... Read more →


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 January 18, 2021. 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 population (all but price of gasoline) and for... 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 →