“Why sir, one day you will tax it.” William Gladstone Michael Faraday



“Why sir, one day you will tax it.” William Gladstone Michael Faraday
“But, after all, what good is it (generating
electric current)?”
William Gladstone
British Chancellor of the Exchequer
“Why sir, one day you will tax it.”
Michael Faraday
Jeff Houk – FHWA
Mark Simon – NYSDOT
Rob Graff – DVRPC
Joe Rich - FHWA
NTAQS 2012
Energy Efficiency in Transportation
Jeff Houk
FHWA Resource Center
NTAQS Conference, August 7, 2012
Introduction: Transportation Energy Trivia
Transportation is a major energy consumer in the US, 28% of total energy use and
72% of petroleum use; LDVs account for 64% of transportation energy use and
trucks, 19%.
Imports of petroleum contributed ~40% to the US trade deficit in 2010. The large trade
deficit weakens the dollar, which further hurts our trade position (from 2/02 to 2/04,
the price of oil went up 51% in dollars but only 4% in Euros). The US can’t export
cars and trucks to most developed (and some developing) countries because they
have higher fuel efficiency standards than we do.
Oil price shocks and price manipulation by OPEC cost our economy about $1.9 trillion
from 2004 to 2008—and each major shock was followed by a recession.
As of April 2011, the average American household spent $369 a month on gas, 10% of
their monthly income before taxes. Transportation is the second-largest monthly
expense for most households.
Transportation Energy Efficiency Strategies
1) Improve vehicle energy efficiency (fuel economy)
2) Improve transportation system efficiency:
1) Reduce VMT (less travel for same economic activity)
2) Reduce congestion/improve operational efficiency
3) Transfer activity to more efficient modes
4) Improve infrastructure efficiency
Most of the recent research related to energy efficiency in
transportation has been in the context of potential GHG
reductions—in the transportation sector, GHG emissions are
almost totally a function of energy consumption.
Fuel Economy
The 2012-2016 fuel economy
standards are the first new car
standards since the mid-80’s.
Technology continued to improve, but
it went into bigger and faster
vehicles, not efficiency.
The average 2012 passenger vehicle
gets 23.8 mpg, not quite the gas
mileage of a Ford Model T (25 mpg)
If 1981 performance had stayed
constant, the light duty fleet would
be 33% more efficient today, more
than displacing our year 2000 oil
imports from the Persian Gulf.
Source: EPA, Wards, Detroit News
Recent Regulatory Actions
NHTSA/EPA joint fuel economy/GHG rules for cars and light trucks
• Previous standard: 27.5 mpg cars, 24.1 mpg light trucks
• 2016 MY (phased in 2012-2016): 35.5 mpg fleet average
• 2025 MY (proposed, 2017-2025 phase-in): 54.5 mpg average
Heavy-duty rulemaking
• First-ever standards for medium and heavy trucks
• Standards cover model years 2014-2017; vary by truck type
Benefits of these rules, combined:
• 14 billion barrels of oil saved over the life of the vehicles
• $500-$660 billion net economic benefit
Reducing VMT Growth Through Better Planning
Regional VMT can be reduced through measures like urban
growth boundaries, higher density in transportation
corridors, expansions of regional transit, commuter
measures, parking management
Site-specific VMT can be reduced through tools like parking
management, mixed-use development, transit-oriented
USDOT Report to Congress (2010) predicts 2.6-5.3%
reductions possible by 2030, 3.9-9.1% by 2050 (expressed
as GHG reductions)
Congestion Strategies/Speed Limitation
According to the Texas
Transportation Institute,
in 2010, congestion
caused 4.5B hours of
travel delay and 1.9B
gallons of wasted fuel,
for a total cost of
M. Barth, UC-Riverside, 2008
Mode shifts can also
reduce total energy
USDOT Report to Congress, 2010
Infrastructure Efficiency
Low-energy pavements (e.g., warm mix asphalt, concrete additives)
Long-life pavements (to reduce maintenance)
Asset management (to extend service life of infrastructure (delay
reconstruction), and keep surface smooth for vehicle efficiency)
Accelerated construction techniques (reduce work zone congestion)
Low-energy maintenance (in-place recycling)
Efficient lighting and landscaping
Signalization, roundabouts, ITS strategies
Last webinar in the recent AMPO series has an extensive list of these
type of strategies (see last slide for link)
Colorado Energy Smart Transportation Initiative
Funded by SSTI grant, initiated to address requirement in CO law
for the planning process to consider GHG reductions
Colorado in a net importer of petroleum; each 1% improvement in
efficiency keeps $300 million in the Colorado economy
Workgroups formed to address travel-and technology-based
energy efficiency strategies, along with data and modeling
CDOT revenue (gas tax) model used to estimate fuel and GHG
baseline, and reductions from various strategies
Colorado ESTI Strategies
Ten strategies were adopted, based on ease of implementation and
the strategies’ associated energy saving benefits. They include:
Planning/project selection processes that take into account energy use
Measures to accelerate non-petroleum fuel supply infrastructure
Fleet conversion to non-petroleum vehicles
Truck stop electrification
Highway speed harmonization
New efforts to track energy use by transportation system users
Transit information improvements, and
Transportation-energy education
ESTI reports
Final project report:
Webconference slides:
Energy Analysis Tools
Relatively easy to model energy impacts of transportation plan
alternatives, especially if AQ analysis is also conducted
Operational energy consumption:
EERPAT for analysis of policy options (other presentation)
GREET and eGRID: upstream energy consumption/emissions
Construction and maintenance:
NYSDOT procedures
Upcoming FHWA tool (available in 2013)
Transportation Energy Efficiency Resources
Pretty much any report on transportation GHG reductions
TRB Modal Primer on GHG and Energy Issues for the
Transportation Industry
EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook reports
Pew Center report “Saving Oil and Reducing GHG Emissions
through U.S. Federal Transportation Policy”
AMPO climate change webinar series: