Nav: Home

Automated electric taxis could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and costs

March 28, 2018

Word on the street is that self-driving cars are the next big thing. But current vehicles emit a lot of greenhouse gases, and self-driving cars will initially come with a steep purchase price. Now, one group reports in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, that, with a mathematical model, they've shown that self-driving, electric taxis could reduce emissions, energy use and overall costs.

As more cars are added to roads, more greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are released into the atmosphere, where they trap heat. To overcome this challenge, engineers have developed plug-in electric vehicles. Yet, electric vehicles currently make up less than 1 percent of new car sales due to slow charging capabilities, limited travel ranges and high prices. But shared vehicles, particularly self-driving electric ones, could relieve the sticker shock by placing the up-front cost and burden on the taxi fleet operator, as self-driving vehicles add an estimated $7,000 to $10,000 to the vehicle's price, according to Information Handling Services Automotive. Gordon Bauer, Jeffery Greenblatt and Brian Gerke developed a model to test the cost and capabilities of a fleet of shared, automated electric vehicles in New York City. Manhattan is an ideal test case because only one-quarter of residents own a car, and it has a dense population.

The team varied the types of vehicles and charging infrastructure parameters to identify which options would cost the least amount of money and cause the greatest impact on energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions. The researchers concluded that about 6,500 vehicles with a battery range of 70 miles or more could be sustained on 1,500 medium-power electric vehicle chargers across Manhattan. Based on this fleet of electric vehicles from commercially available models, they would produce around 33,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. In comparison, this represents a 57 percent reduction over an automated hybrid vehicle fleet and a 73 percent reduction over an automated gasoline-powered car fleet. Results suggest that electric vehicles would also reduce operating costs by up to 18 percent and energy consumption by up to 55 percent compared to a fleet of hybrid or gasoline vehicles. The group notes that this model might be more difficult to apply to less dense regions and more research is needed to study optimal system configurations.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of California, Berkeley.

The paper's abstract will be available on March 28 at 8 a.m. Eastern time here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b04732

The American Chemical Society is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: Twitter | Facebook

American Chemical Society

Related Greenhouse Gases Articles:

Decomposing leaves are surprising source of greenhouse gases
Scientists have pinpointed a new source of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that's more potent than carbon dioxide.
Decomposing leaves are a surprising source of greenhouse gases
Michigan State University scientists have pinpointed a new source of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that's more potent than carbon dioxide.
NASA to measure greenhouse gases over the mid-Atlantic region in may
In May, a team of Goddard scientists will begin measuring greenhouse gases over the Mid-Atlantic region -- an area chosen in part because it encompasses a range of vegetation, climate and soil types that would influence the exchange of carbon dioxide and methane between Earth and the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases: First it was cows -- now it's larvae!
Scientists at UNIGE have discovered that Chaoborus spp uses the methane it finds in lakebeds to help it move around.
Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
Growing sustainable energy crops without increasing greenhouse gas emissions, may be possible on seasonally wet, environmentally sensitive landscapes, according to researchers who conducted a study on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land.
Short-lived greenhouse gases cause centuries of sea-level rise
Even if there comes a day when the world completely stops emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, coastal regions and island nations will continue to experience rising sea levels for centuries afterward, according to a new study by researchers at MIT and Simon Fraser University.
Reservoirs are a major source of greenhouse gases
The BioScience Talks podcast (http://bioscience.libsyn.com) features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences
Reservoirs are a major source of greenhouse gases
Dammed rivers are often considered environmentally friendly, carbon-neutral energy sources, but the reservoirs they create release large amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Controlled Colorado River flooding released stored greenhouse gases
The 2014 experimental controlled pulse of water to the Colorado River Delta has revealed an interesting twist on how large dry watercourses may respond to short-term flooding events: the release of stored greenhouse gases.
OU team investigates microbe-climate interactions in greenhouse gases
A University of Oklahoma research team will analyze microbe-climate interactions in greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4 and N2O) from grasslands and croplands in Oklahoma.

Related Greenhouse Gases Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Bias And Perception
How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us. Guests include writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd, journalist Andreas Ekström, and experimental psychologist Tony Salvador.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#513 Dinosaur Tails
This week: dinosaurs! We're discussing dinosaur tails, bipedalism, paleontology public outreach, dinosaur MOOCs, and other neat dinosaur related things with Dr. Scott Persons from the University of Alberta, who is also the author of the book "Dinosaurs of the Alberta Badlands".