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Technologies That Will Transform the Transportation System

The transportation system is in the midst of a dramatic worldwide transformation that has the potential to impact our daily lives. Many factors are contributing to this change: overall U.S. demographics are shifting, more people are moving to cities, and connected devices are empowering consumers with more choices and on-demand services. The arrival of new technologies, such as connected and automated vehicles, and the rise of the shared-economy, including car-sharing and ride-hailing, have the potential to provide new, low-cost, mobility options. 

Dramatic Energy Impacts

These new transportation technologies have the potential to provide improvements in safety, affordability, and accessibility to the American people. However, they also present challenges that must be understood. A recent study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) indicates that the future impact of new mobility systems, including connected and automated vehicles, could range from a 60% decrease in overall transportation energy to a 200% increase.

Graphic that depicts the disruption of transportation energy in the future with cars driving toward a
Graphic | Sarah Harman

Energy Efficient Mobility Systems Research

To maximize the advantages of emerging disruptive technologies, such as connected and autonomous vehicles, VTO launched Energy Efficient Mobility Systems (EEMS). This comprehensive research program aims to identify and make full use of energy efficiency opportunities of advanced vehicle technologies and infrastructure, its interactions with existing infrastructure, and improved mobility of people and goods.

Current Mobility Projects

New recently announced “living lab” projects in Washington, Texas and New York are integrating smart mobility technologies in a holistic approach to the movement of people and/or goods that maximize energy efficiency. These projects will test new ideas, collect data, and inform research on energy efficient transportation technologies and systems, creating an essential feedback mechanism to the EEMS research program.

Connected Driving Software Prototype Demo
Watch and learn how connected technologies can improve the safety and fuel efficiency of your car.  

In addition, three EEMS projects will conduct research that evaluates energy savings benefits from connected and automated vehicles. These projects will lead to the creation of new software, controls, and technologies that use connectivity and automation to improve vehicle efficiency and analyze the system-wide energy opportunities available through connectivity and automation combined with shared mobility. 

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Energy Department Invests $13.4 Million in Transportation Projects

Via energy.gov

Today, the Energy Department (DOE) announced $13.4 million in support of five new cost-shared, community-based projects focused on energy efficient mobility systems including connected and autonomous vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure including natural gas, propane, biofuels, hydrogen, and electricity.

This Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) funding is an investment in highly-innovative, highly-leveraged, and scalable projects that will provide real-world experience and generate knowledge and lessons learned to help improve our nation's energy security, support energy independence, improve transportation efficiency, and strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness. 

The following projects will serve as "living labs" to test new ideas, collect data, and inform research on energy efficient transportation technologies and systems.

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, New York) will receive $2 million to evaluate changes in freight demand patterns that reduce energy use, incorporate energy efficient technologies and practices into freight logistics, and publish lessons learned.   
  • Pecan Street Inc. (Austin, Texas) will receive $1 million to pilot "last mile" electric bus services. The project includes a feasibility assessment of new technologies such as autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles and dynamic app-driven re-routing.
  • City of Seattle Department of Transportation (Seattle, Washington) will receive $1.9 million to accelerate the use of EVs in shared mobility applications in four major U.S. markets and establish best practices for all U.S. metro regions.

Two additional alternative fuel community partner projects across the Southeast and Midwest regions will bring together over 20 diverse partners including communities, businesses, fleets and Clean Cities coalitions.

  • Center for Transportation and the Environment (Atlanta, Georgia) and its partners will receive $4.6 million to accelerate the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure throughout the southeastern United States.
  • Metropolitan Energy Center, Inc. (Kansas City, Missouri) and its partners will receive $3.8 million to accelerate the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles, as well as supporting infrastructure, through community-based partnerships throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. 

To learn more about the Department's work with industry, academia, and community partners on advanced vehicle technologies, please visit the Vehicle Technologies Office website

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Debunking Myths About Electric Vehicles

 

 

This video is full of misinformation about electric vehicles. Read about the debunked myths below.

Myth #1: Electric cars are more toxic to humans than other cars. 

They based this claim on a study which has been debunked for inflating their emission estimates by 40% by accounting for battery replacement without recycling and adding the need for a replacement gasoline car with the EV.

Myth #2: EV batteries are made from rare Earth materials. 

In the video they claim that batteries are made from rare metals like lithium, cobalt, and cerium. Another claim they make is that the materials come from overseas from countries with a lot of pollution like China and the Republic of the Congo. There are many different battery chemistries using different minerals. They are not all the same nor do they have the same impact. Most battery makers try to avoid all rare earth metals.

Myth #3: Batteries always end up in landfills and are toxic. 

This is completely false. Battery recycling is expected to become a big business in the near future. Many automakers are making less energy dense batteries, using old batteries for energy storage, and recycling the minearls in old batteries to make completely new batteries. 

Article orignally posted on Electrek.

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