Research Program Design---Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies. Update of Technology and Alternative Fuels Assessment

In 2003, NCHRP Project 19-05, "Assessing and Mitigating Future Impacts to the Federal Highway Trust Fund Such As Alternative Fuel Consumption," produced a report (available for download on that project's web page) that explored scenarios of future fuel use and corresponding consequences for fuel-tax revenues. The analysis concluded that, while there are serious threats to the continued usefulness and stability of motor fuel taxes as the principal funding source for the nation's surface transportation system, those threats were neither unlimited in the long term nor likely to have major impacts over the effective period of then-current federal transportation program authorization. That report was based on sound analysis and its conclusions were reasonable for the time, but today conditions are dramatically different. A new period for Congressional authorization of transportation programs is at hand. Fuel prices are at high levels and generating public controversy. Congress has enacted significant changes in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards, the first such change since 1975, and may make further changes in the future.  Increasing worldwide emphasis on coping with greenhouse gases and their impacts on global climate change amplifies pressures to further reduce our reliance on traditional motor fuels; these pressures could motivate other Congressional action to mandate changes in fuels and vehicles.  It is plausible that forecasts presented as the "base case" expectations in the 2003 report could occur much faster than was anticipated or that reasonable analysis would conclude that substantially different trajectories of fuel usage will be followed.  The state DOTs and AASHTO are developing policies and plans to ensure the long-term sustainability of our transportation system.  To be effective, these policies and plans must be based on current data and assessments regarding what fuel efficiencies may be expected and how quickly and pervasively alternatively-fueled vehicles such as plug-in electric hybrids or hydrogen fuel-cell-powered vehicles will enter the market place. There is then an immediate need to update the 2003 study. The update will require extensive evaluation of industry plans and information from international sources and must be less reliant on Department of Energy assessments that do not reflect the dramatic changes occurring in our transportation system.  The project will address questions such as the following: Will Congress further increase CAFE standards by 2030 and by how much; might there be additional mandates to accelerate change; what miles-per-gallon rates can be expected from vehicles burning gasoline or diesel fuel; what percentage of vehicles on the road in those time frames will be zero emission vehicles; how fast is the vehicle fleet likely to change? The objectives of this research project are to update the 2003 study and develop revised benchmark expectations regarding how soon and to what extent alternative fueled vehicles may be expected to enter the vehicle fleet, using 2020, 2030, and 2050 as target years for the analysis, and the likely consequences that will have impact on fuel-tax revenues available to transportation agencies.  </font></div><div style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"> </div>

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Terminated
  • Funding: $100000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-24(66)

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Lemer, Andrew

  • Start Date: 20081030
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 19822

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01549594
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-24(66)
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2015 1:01AM