The light-duty vehicle fleet is expected to undergo substantial technological changes over the next several decades. New powertrain designs, alternative fuels, advanced materials and significant changes to the vehicle body are being driven by increasingly stringent fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards. By the end of the next decade, cars and light-duty trucks will be more fuel efficient, weigh less, emit less air pollutants, have more safety features, and will be more expensive to purchase relative to current vehicles. Though the gasoline-powered spark ignition engine will continue to be the dominant powertrain configuration even through 2030, such vehicles will be equipped with advanced technologies, materials, electronics and controls, and aerodynamics. And by 2030, the deployment of alternative methods to propel and fuel vehicles and alternative modes of transportation, including autonomous vehicles, will be well underway. What are these new technologies - how will they work, and will some technologies be more effective than others?
A new piece on Energy Institute Research Professor John DeCicco's blog, Cars and Climate, explores the flow of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon dioxide during the life cycle of biofuels. It is excerpted below.
"After all that's been written about the pros and cons of biofuels over the years, it's fair to ask whether there's anything left to say. It turns out that there is, and a new insight comes from evaluating what actually happens on the earth, that is, on the land where the plants used to make biofuels are grown.
Energy Institute Research Professor John DeCicco was featured in a Marketplace Morning Report piece titled "Your electric car may be a carbon polluter." The piece highlighted a working paper that will be featured in this fall's Conference on Transportation, Economics, Energy and the Environment (more info on the conference is viewable here).
Energy Institute research professor John DeCicco, an energy and transportation expert, was featured on WEMU's The Green Room, along with UMEI faculty affiliate Jonathan Levine and postdoctoral fellow Louis Merlin, both of Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
Michigan utilities met the state's standard this year, generating 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. Now, to reduce carbon emissions, some people in the state want to see the bar raised to 20 percent or higher, but paying for it remains controversial.
“What we found is that doubling our RPS would add about $1.70 per month for a typical consumer,” says Jeremiah Johnson, a professor at the School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan.
With a car that seats the driver so far to the right they had to design an elbow bulge into the chassis, the nation's top-ranked solar car team Friday unveiled the vehicle it will race across Australia in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge this fall.
The University of Michigan Solar Car Team's sleek 2015 model is called "Aurum" — the Latin word for gold.
UM set to open driverless-car test site Mcity on Monday
The University of Michigan will officially open its new testing site for connected and driverless cars on Monday. The 32-acre testing grounds, called Mcity, are designed to simulate urban and suburban roads with a network of controlled intersections, traffic signals, streetlights, sidewalks, construction obstacles and more, the university said in a release. The $6.5 million test track is operated by UM’s Mobility Transformation Center.
This one-day conference hosted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute develops a forward-looking fifteen year technology roadmap for powertrains and powertrain components for the US, European, and Asian markets.