Year-on-year gasoline sales in the United States have moved into positive territory for the first time on the one-year anniversary of the first major declines that resulted from COVID-induced stay at home orders. However, demand still trails pre-pandemic levels by a considerable margin, according to the latest data from Oil... Read more →


US crude oil production averaged 11.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2020, down 935,000 b/d (8%) from the record annual average high of 12.2 million b/d in 2019, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The 2020 decrease in production was the largest annual decline in the EIA’s... Read more →


AYRO, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of light-duty, short-haul, and last-mile delivery electric vehicles (EVs), has launched the Electric Vaccine Vehicle (EVV). The EVV is a self-contained, all-electric transportation solution that has been optimized to store, transport, and deliver testing and vaccines to a large population across a wide variety... Read more →


The Covid-19 crisis in 2020 triggered the largest annual drop in global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions since the Second World War, according to IEA data, but the overall decline of about 6% masks wide variations depending on the region and the time of year. After hitting a low in April,... Read more →


NCAR-led study finds COVID-19 lockdowns temporarily raised global temperatures due to reductions in aerosols

The lockdowns and reduced societal activity related to the COVID-19 pandemic affected emissions of pollutants in ways that slightly warmed the planet for several months last year, according to new research led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The counterintuitive finding highlights the influence of airborne particles, or... Read more →


Comparing pandemic-related reductions in driving and flying in January

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. The current pandemic has not affected the different modes of mobility to the same degree. As is evident from my ongoing monthly monitoring of key transportation indexes, flying, riding the train, and taking public transit have all been influenced much more than driving. This... Read more →


CapGemini: 87% of global consumers prefer personal vehicle to ensure safe travel, up from 57% in April 2020

Almost half of global consumers (46%) are considering purchasing a car in the next 12 months, an increase from 35% in April 2020. This reflects a continuous shift in consumer preference towards personal mobility, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, as car ownership today is seen as a safeguard against the... 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 →


The American Bus Association (ABA) has released motorcoach industry closure data gathered from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The data collected by FMCSA shows a surge in losses of authority for motorcoach operators in 2020, which means these companies are no longer providing transportation—in some... Read more →


Less traffic on the roads during the first COVID-19 lockdown in the UK led to a reduction in air pollution but may have caused potentially damaging surface ozone levels to rise, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of York. The open-access study, published in the... 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 →


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 →


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 →


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 →


In its fight against COVID-19 and for the protection of bus occupants, Daimler Buses is relying on a high fresh air content, a fast exchange of air and anti-viral high-performance particle filters in its vehicles. The effectiveness of these protective measures has been confirmed by a research report issued by... 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 →


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 →


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 →


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 →


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 →


Baker Institute expert says regional advantages will define future energy transitions

Different countries will respond in different ways to the challenges of economic growth and environmental sustainability based upon their regional advantages, according to a new paper by an expert in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. The COVID-19 pandemic has added pressure to... 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 →


IHS Markit says outlook for crude oil prices strengthens through 2021

Oil markets have returned to relatively stable ground with Brent prices within a narrow $40-$45 per barrel range and could conclusively pass the $50 per barrel mark in the second half of 2021, according to Roger Diwan and the IHS Markit Energy Advisory Service. The IHS Markit Brent price outlook... Read more →


Ipsos global study finds vehicle owners continue to show interest in self-driving technology despite COVID-19

An Ipsos Auto Global Study has found that new vehicle owners in US, China, EURO5 and Brazil desire autonomous functionality in their next vehicle. We have been through more than four months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are getting signals of a “new normal.” Many employers have encouraged their... Read more →


Large improvements of air quality in China during the lockdown have been widely reported, but new research shows that two pollutants harmful to human health—fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone—were only slightly reduced. The study, by scientists from the University of Leeds, UK and the Southern University of Science and... Read more →


ABI: connected car market will endure a 15% shipment decline, flat revenues in 2020; sales return on trend early 2022

After years of consistent growth, the connected vehicle industry will face a 15% decline in shipments and flat revenues in 2020, according to projections by ABI Research, a global tech market advisory firm. However, both embedded and aftermarket segments will see accelerated growth in 2021, and sales should return to... 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 →


European automakers request 6-month postponement of new Euro standards due to COVID-19

Mike Manley, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the current European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) president, has sent a letter to Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission, requesting a 6-month postponement of the application dates of key upcoming EU standards,... 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 →


Fewer wild animals, including threatened mountain lions, are becoming roadkill during shelter-in-place orders, according to a study on three states from the University of California, Davis. Using traffic and collision data collected from California, Idaho and Maine, the researchers found that wildlife-vehicle conflict has declined by 21-56 percent from early... Read more →


BYD has completed the delivery of 10 battery-electric K9S buses to Link Transit in Wenatchee, Washington, a milestone for the company as production ramps up following a temporary plant closure in Mid-March from the COVID-19 pandemic. The final two buses of the order were recently delivered, joining the eight others... 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 →


The Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLOCAT) has published a preliminary analysis of the early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on passenger mobility in urban environments. The analysis looks at how different regions and income groups are affected, and seeks to provide a preliminary answer to the question of... Read more →


BloombergNEF (BNEF) forecasts that sales of electric passenger vehicles will fall 18% in 2020 to 1.7 million worldwide, with the coronavirus crisis interrupting ten successive years of strong growth. However, sales of combustion engine cars are set to drop even faster this year (by 23%), and the long-term electrification of... Read more →


A preliminary analysis of global data has found that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel sources reached a maximum daily decline of 17% in April as a result of drastic decline in energy demand that have occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. Percentage change in global daily fossil CO2 emissions, Jan-May... 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 →


Levels of two major air pollutants have been reduced significantly since lockdowns began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a secondary pollutant—ground-level ozone—has increased in China, according to new research. Two new studies in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters find nitrogen dioxide pollution over northern China, Western Europe and... Read more →


Juniper: Mobility-As-A-Service users to grow over fivefold between 2019 and 2021, despite ongoing pandemic

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the total number of MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) platform users (which integrates different transport services, including buses, taxis, rail and metro into a single app), will grow by more than fivefold by 2021 compared with 2019. This means the market will reach more... Read more →


European automotive sector calls for vehicle renewal incentives to kickstart economic recovery after COVID-19; 25-point action plan

The response to COVID-19 is having a major impact on the economy, with retail and manufacturing activity crippled without precedence and concerns mounting on consumer sentiment. The European automotive sector, which has been hit particularly badly, is proposing a plan comprising 25 actions to support a strong restart of the... Read more →


ACEA asks Euro NCAP for two-year delay for introduction of 2022 protocols

In a letter to the Secretary General of the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP), the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA), requested a 2‐year delay for the introduction of the 2022 protocols due to the projected lengthy time that will be needed to recover from the effects of... Read more →