Development of Integrated Vehicle and Fuel Scenarios in a National Energy System Model for Low Carbon U.S. Transportation Futures

This project sought to better understand the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction potential of the U.S. transportation sector, with a focus on advanced vehicle technologies including zero emission vehicles and low-carbon, alternative fuels. The researchers analyzed a range of potential transition scenarios toward low-carbon transportation futures in the United States, exploring how policies and technology assumptions impact vehicle, fuel infrastructure, and resource requirements and costs. The analysis was carried out through development of a national level U.S. energy economic optimization model (US-TIMES), employing the widely-used MARKAL/TIMES framework. The model (1) provided detailed representation of all major transportation subsectors at a disaggregated level (light-duty, medium and heavy-duty, rail, marine, aviation and off-road); (2) focused model development on investments in both vehicles and fuel infrastructure; (3) assessed capital and operating costs of vehicle technologies and fuel infrastructure; and (4) used an integrated model to understand important linkages/synergies between the transport and other energy sectors. This initial analysis with the US-TIMES model shows how an energy system model can be used to analyze the role of vehicle technologies and fuels within a national energy system like that of the United States. These models are useful for analyzing cross-sectoral policies like carbon caps and cross-sectoral energy issues like resource competition (e.g., biomass) and synergies (e.g., charging of electric vehicles). Using a cost minimizing model, the researchers find that emissions reductions at low cap levels focus primarily on decarbonizing electric sector emissions.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $114,838
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Department of Transportation

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    National Center for Sustainable Transportation

    University of California, Davis
    Davis, CA  United States 
  • Performing Organizations:

    National Center for Sustainable Transportation

    University of California, Davis
    Davis, CA  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Yang, Christopher

  • Start Date: 20161001
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180930
  • Actual Completion Date: 20180930
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01610322
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Center for Sustainable Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC29
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Sep 6 2016 6:21PM