Making Alternative Fuel Vehicles Work for Everyone: Quantifying the Environmental and Equity Potential

Cities are rapidly adopting plans to reduce carbon emissions in order to address the urgent problem of global climate change. Urban transportation, largely through fossil fuel consumption, stands as a major carbon emitter and policy challenge in this arena. Successful outcomes will no doubt involve many complementary strategies including alternative transportation, shifts in land use patterns, personal behavior change, and technology. This paper focuses on the last of these and attempts to quantify the benefits of vehicle electrification strategies for fossil fuel consumption savings. Specifically, the authors consider replacing existing personal use vehicles with hybrid-electric (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs).This paper combines a unique collection of data sets including a regional vehicle census and odometer-based mileage estimates along with national data sources to conduct a novel analysis of urban fuel use reduction strategies. The authors develop a model of vehicle use to enable consideration of rebound or induced demand effects in different contexts. The analysis also explicitly considers specific equity options and outcomes, based on growing understanding that successful climate policies must include everyone.The authors present a number of policy scenarios and estimate empirical outcomes for fuel use reduction. They find that outcomes vary considerably by technology type and implementation details. The most promising policy options suggest that a 10% fleet replacement, with effective targeting, could reduce region-wide fuel use by more than 12%, while the worst might actually increase fuel use. Equity-biased strategies can be nearly as effective in reducing fuel use, while greatly improving the distribution of benefit.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee A0020T Special Task Force on Climate Change and Energy.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Broach, Joseph
    • Shandobil, Baxter
    • MacArthur, John
    • Clifton, Kelly
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 5p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01698280
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-02981
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:50AM