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The National Academies

NCHRP 25-25/Task 115 [Anticipated]

Estimates of Emissions Reductions from Future Fleet Changes for Use in Air Quality Models
[ NCHRP 25-25 (Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $125,000
Staff Responsibility: Ann M. Hartell
Comments: In development
Fiscal Year: 2018


New vehicle technologies, publically sponsored programs, and public-private partnerships designed for various reasons but applicable to reduce vehicle-generated emissions have been emerging for a decade or more. These include various versions of electric and fuel cell vehicles, connected and autonomously-driven vehicles, enhanced battery storage capacity for extend EV trips, along with Federal, State and local programs created to encourage the adoption of low-polluting or non-polluting fleets. A transition to low/zero emission vehicles and fleets may be “accelerated” as the adoption of technologies and supporting program advances. Investigating and evaluating the potential emission reduction impacts may assist DOTs and MPOs in their efforts to control mobile source related emissions. Some examples of programs, products, and services may include:

• FHWA’s Alternative Fuels Corridor Program
• VW Settlement Agreement’s Zero Emission Development Plan
• Incorporation of “connected” vehicles, “autonomous” vehicles into an area’s vehicle fleet
• New Heavy Duty vehicle fleet technologies (such as Tesla’s “semitruck” and Toyota’s Fuel Cell “semitruck” [California trials])
• Taxi fleets adoption of “green vehicles”

It is reasonable to assume that these types of technologies and programs, and perhaps others, will have a role in facilitating the transition to a lower mobile source emission environment through cleaner cars, improved operations, or both. It is possible that the impact of the adoption of these technologies and programs may result in a faster reduction in the emissions generated by highway vehicles than has been assumed in current State and regional planning documents. This accelerated improvement could benefit areas designated nonattainment or maintenance for one or more pollutants.

The new technologies, programs and policies noted above are being tested and can serve as an indicator of how future mobile source emission reductions will occur. The objective of this project will be to investigate these technologies and programs with the goal of developing estimates of potential emission reductions achievable for criteria pollutants, mobile source air toxic pollutants, and GHG pollutants.

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