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Washington, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, United States

The European Commission has a mandate from the EU's Renewable Energy and Fuel Quality Directives to propose a methodology, consistent with the best available science, to address indirect land use change (iLUC). One proposed solution to the iLUC problem is the application of iLUC factors in European fuels policy - it is widely expected that should the EU adopt such iLUC factors, they would be based on iLUC modelling using the International Food Policy Research Institute's (IFPRI) MIRAGE model. Taking the iLUC factors from IFPRI MIRAGE as our central estimate, we use Monte Carlo analysis on a simple model of potential biofuel pathways for Europe to assess the likely average carbon saving from three possible European biofuel policy scenarios: no action on iLUC; raised GHG thresholds for direct emissions savings; and the introduction of iLUC factors. We find that without iLUC factors (or some other effective iLUC minimization approach) European biofuel mandates are unlikely to deliver significant GHG emissions benefits in 2020, and have a substantial probability of increasing net GHG emissions. In contrast, the implementation of iLUC factors is likely to significantly increase the carbon savings from EU biofuel policy. With iLUC factors, it is likely that most permitted pathways would conform to the Renewable Energy Directive requirement for a minimum 50% GHG reduction compared to fossil fuels. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Baral A.,International Council on Clean Transportation. | Bakshi B.R.,Ohio State University
Ecological Modelling | Year: 2010

A commonly encountered challenge in emergy analysis is the lack of transformity data for many economic products and services. To overcome this challenge, emergy analysts approximate the emergy input from the economy via a single emergy/money ratio for the country and the monetary price of economic inputs. This amounts toassuming homogeneity in the entire economy, and can introduce serious uncertainties in the results. This paper proposes and demonstrates the use of a thermodynamically augmented economic input-output model of the US economy for obtaining sector-specific emergy to money ratios that can be used instead of a single ratio. These ratios at the economy scale are more accurate than a single economy-wide emergy/money ratio, and can be obtained quickly for hundreds of economic products and services. Comparing sector-specific emergy/money ratios with those from conventional emergy studies indicates that the input-output model can provide reasonable estimates of transformities at least as a stop-gap measure until more detailed analysis is completed. A hybrid approach to emergy analysis is introduced and compared with conventional emergy analysis using life cycles of corn ethanol and gasoline as examples. Emergy and transformity data from the hybrid approach are similar to those from conventional emergy analysis, indicating the usefulness of the proposed approach. In addition, this work proposes the metric of return on emergy investment for assessing product alternatives with the same utility such as transportation fuels. The proposed approach and data may be used easily via web-based software. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

« University of Waterloo opens new automotive research facility | Main | Lux Research: EVs and AVs will inevitably merge; “terrifying prospect” for value-chain incumbents » A detailed, city-level multivariate regression analysis of EV penetration in California has found a link between electric vehicle uptake and many underlying factors. A team at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) found that electric vehicle model availability; public electric vehicle charging network; local promotion activities for electric vehicles (e.g., outreach events, informational websites; electric car sharing services; and government and fleet programs) and median income in each city to be correlated significantly with new electric vehicle sales share. They cautioned that causality could not be determined within the analysis. The team drilled into the activities of the 30 California cities with the highest rates of electric vehicle penetration, examining how local organizations—regional and city governments, utilities, businesses, and nonprofits are promoting electric vehicles through a wide array of activities. In these 30 cities, electric vehicles account for 6% to 18% share of new vehicle sales—this is 8 to 25 times that of the US average in 2015. These vehicle markets range greatly in size, from hundreds of electric vehicle sales up to approximately 4,000 (San Jose). Some of the examined factors (California Clean Vehicle Rebate claim rate and the prevalence of single-family homes) were not linked with electric vehicle uptake. Other factors for which data was not available (such as the income of electric vehicle purchasers specifically, rather than city-level median income) or that cannot be quantified (such as cultural differences between cities) could be influencing electric vehicle uptake in these cities, the authors observed. Based on the analysis, the ICCT team drew three overarching conclusions: Comprehensive policy support is helping support the electric vehicle market. Consumers in California benefit from federal and state electric vehicle incentives, as well as from persistent local action and extensive charging infrastructure. The Zero-Emission Vehicle program has increased model availability (the cities tended to have about 20 EV models locally available over 2015) and provided relative certainty about vehicle deployment that local stakeholders can bank on. The major metropolitan areas in California had 3 to 13 times the average US electric vehicle uptake in 2015. Local promotion activities are encouraging the electric vehicle market. The 30 cities in California with the highest electric vehicle uptake—with 8 to 25 times the US electric vehicle uptake—have seen the implementation of abundant, wide-ranging electric vehicle promotion programs involving parking, permitting, fleets, utilities, education, and workplace charging. These cities tend to be smaller, but Oakland and San Jose are also within the high electric vehicle uptake cities. There were twelve cities with electric vehicle market shares of new vehicles from 10% to 18% in 2015 including Berkeley, Manhattan Beach, and many throughout Silicon Valley. The electric vehicle market grows with its charging infrastructure. The 30 California cities with the highest electric vehicle uptake have, on average, 5 times the public charging infrastructure per capita than the US average. In addition, workplace charging availability in the San Jose metropolitan area is far higher than elsewhere. Increasingly, major public electric power utilities and workplaces are expanding the public charging network to further address consumer confidence and convenience. This analysis of the California market could have broader implications in defining best practice policies to support electric vehicles. Governments around the world are contemplating more progressive regulatory policies to promote electric vehicles. Policymakers are also investigating complementary local outreach, city policy, and charging infrastructure planning to pave the way for the emerging electric vehicle market. California provides a template for such state and local activities that reach more businesses and prospective consumers. The California experience suggests that if electric vehicle models are brought to more markets and there is supporting policy in place, market growth will continue. Our findings suggest that California’s playbook could be a helpful example to other regions seeking to encourage electric vehicle uptake.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: SST.2013.3-2. | Award Amount: 2.19M | Year: 2013

Transport is a key enabler of economic activity and social connectedness. While providing essential services to society and economy, transport is also an important part of the economy and it is at the core of a number of major sustainability challenges, in particular climate change, air quality, safety, energy security and efficiency in the use of resources (EC 2011: Transport White Paper). The overall mission of this project is to support the uptake of innovative sustainable urban mobility solutions in Europe and other regions in the world, in particular in Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean. The call text has identified several regions in the world, policy areas and previous and on-going projects relevant for addressing the topic: Implementing innovative and green urban transport solutions in Europe and beyond (SST.2013.3-2). SOLUTIONS will address all regions and policy areas, and will link into all projects mentioned in the call text. We believe that this approach generates the greatest synergies, which will be for the benefit of participating cities and the projects SOLUTIONS will link to and build upon. While SOLUTIONS will build strongly on previous and on-going projects and initiatives, as is the nature of a coordinating action, it also aims to provide added value that goes beyond summarising and facilitating knowledge sharing and research and technology transfer. SOLUTIONS aims to bridge the implementation gap between the potential of innovative sustainable mobility and transport solutions and packages of solutions and the actual level of up-take and quality of the deployment mechanisms.

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Site: http://techcrunch.com

This morning, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen Group of America, charging that it “deceived customers with the advertising campaign it used to promote its supposedly ‘clean diesel’ VWs and Audis,” according to the FTC press release. As I’m sure you recall, these are the vehicles that were caught cheating on emissions tests in October 2015. The lawsuit seeks damages for any Americans who bought or leased one of the Volkswagens or Audis from 2008 to 2015. It also asks that Volkswagen not deceive consumers anymore, a lesson it seems they’ve learned in the past six months. The FTC says that Volkswagen advertised its diesel vehicles as being low-emissions, environmentally friendly cars that would retain their resale value. More than half a million Americans thought that sounded pretty good and purchased or leased diesel VWs and Audis over those seven years. In particular, the lawsuit notes that these cars were advertised as being “50-state compliant,” meaning that they would pass emissions tests everywhere in the country, even in the toughest states, like California. And they certainly did pass those tests, but not honestly. When the cars detected that they were being tested for emissions in the lab, which is the usual way they’re tested, a few lines of code changed the way the engine behaved to emit fewer pollutants. When cars were driven on the road, the engine would optimize for performance and sacrifice emissions. When they were tested on the road using probes in the tailpipe, nitrous oxide emissions were as much as 35 times the standard, as discovered by the International Council on Clean Transportation with help from West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions. The lawsuit charges that this was an unfair practice. You probably know if you’re one of the consumers affected, but in case you’re unsure, the lawsuit covers 2009 through 2015 Volkswagen TDI Jettas, Passats, and Touaregs, plus all Audi TDI vehicles for those years. The average price of these vehicles was $28,000, and the FTC is suing for compensation for anyone who purchased one of these vehicles at any price.

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