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Life-cycle Energy and Emissions Inventories for Motorcycles, Diesel Automobiles, School Buses, Electric Buses, Chicago Rail, and New York City Rail

  • Author(s): Chester, Mikhail
  • Horvath, Arpad
  • et al.
Abstract

The development of life-cycle energy and emissions factors for passenger transportation modes is critical for understanding the total environmental costs of travel. Previous life-cycle studies have focused on the automobile given its dominating share of passenger travel and have included only few life-cycle components, typically related to the vehicle (i.e., manufacturing, maintenance, end-of-life) or fuel (i.e., extraction, refining, transport). Chester (2009) provides the first comprehensive environmental life-cycle assessment of not only vehicle and fuel components but also infrastructure components for automobiles, buses, commuter rail systems, and aircraft. Many processes were included for vehicles (manufacturing, active operation, inactive operation, maintenance, insurance), infrastructure (construction, operation, maintenance, parking, insurance), and fuels (production, distribution). The vehicles inventoried were sedans, pickups, SUVs, urban diesel buses, light rail (San Francisco’s Muni Metro and Boston’s Green Line, both electric), heavy rail (San Francisco Bay Area’s BART and Caltrain), and aircraft (small, medium, and large-sized planes are disaggregated). Given the methodological framework in Chester (2009), the question of applicability of these systems to other U.S. modes, and the data availability of other modes, is extended in this study to motorcycles, light duty diesel vehicles, school buses, electric buses, Chicago commuter rail modes, and New York City commuter rail modes.

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