Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Research Reports

Cover page of Spatial Scenarios for Market Penetration of Plug-in Battery Electric Trucks in the U.S.

Spatial Scenarios for Market Penetration of Plug-in Battery Electric Trucks in the U.S.

(2022)

Carbon emissions targets require large reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the near-to mid-term, and the transportation sector is a major emitter of GHGs. To understand potential pathways to GHG reductions, this project developed the U.S. Transportation Transitions Model (US TTM) to study various scenarios of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) market penetration in the U.S. The model includes vehicle fuel economy, vehicle stock and sales, fuel carbon intensities, and costs for vehicles and fuels all projected through 2050. Market penetration scenarios through 2050 are input as percentages of sales for all vehicle types and technologies. Three scenarios were developed for the U.S.: a business as usual (BAU), low carbon (LC), and High ZEV scenario. The LC and High ZEV include rapid penetration of ZEVs into the vehicle market. The introduction of ZEVs requires fueling infrastructure to support the vehicles. Initial deployments of ZEVs are expected to be dominated by battery electric vehicles. To estimate the number and cost of charging stations for battery electric trucks in the mid-term, outputs were used from a California Energy Commission (CEC) study projecting the need for chargers in California. The study used the HEVI-Pro model to estimate electrical energy needs and number of chargers for the truck stock in several California cities. The CEC study outputs were used along with the TTM model outputs from this study to estimate charger needs and costs for six U.S. cities outside California. The LC and High ZEV scenarios reduced carbon emissions by 92% and 94% in the U.S. by 2050, respectively. Due to slow stock turnover, the LC and High ZEV scenarios contain significant numbers of ICE trucks. The biomass-based liquid volume reaches 70 (High ZEV) to 80 (LC) billion GGE by 2045. For the cities in this study, the charger cost ranges from $5 million to $2.6 billion in 2030 and from roughly $1 billion to almost $30 billion in 2040.

View the NCST Project Webpage

Cover page of The Current and Future Performance and Costs of Battery Electric Trucks: Review of Key Studies and A Detailed Comparison of Their Cost Modeling Scope and Coverage

The Current and Future Performance and Costs of Battery Electric Trucks: Review of Key Studies and A Detailed Comparison of Their Cost Modeling Scope and Coverage

(2022)

This project aims to assess the current and future performance and costs of battery electric trucking, through reviewing key recent studies in the U.S. and presenting a detailed comparison of their cost modeling scope and coverage. This white paper presents a review of 10 recent studies of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of battery electric trucks (BET), now and in the future, compared to a baseline diesel truck, for the following 3 important types of truck: heavy-duty long-haul trucks, medium-duty delivery trucks, and heavy-duty drayage/short-haul trucks. The researchers break down the studies into their estimates for a range of important cost and operating factors, such as vehicle purchase cost, efficiency, fuel cost, maintenance cost, required range and thus battery pack sizing, and other factors. Of note are differences in major assumptions of studies and variables that are included or excluded from consideration. The authors do not judge these studies against each other but attempt to derive general findings that are robust across studies, areas of significant difference, and areas for further research. Overall, TCO estimates across the studies, for a given truck type, can vary dramatically, though often several studies cluster together. But as this study explores, the differences in TCO link directly to differences in assumptions, parameters and other differences across the studies. The studies vary in important ways that should be taken into account when comparing TCO estimates. Policy makers should consider the context of truck type, truck use and other factors when reading such studies, and pay attention to assumptions. Policies should reflect the wide range of situations that trucks may encounter and avoid assuming a simple average TCO across all situations.

View the NCST Project Webpage

Cover page of Cargo Routing and Disadvantaged Communities

Cargo Routing and Disadvantaged Communities

(2021)

Freight is fundamental to economic growth, however, the trucks that haul this freight are pollution intensive, emitting criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases at high rates. The increasing volume and time-sensitivity of freight demand over the past decade has encouraged carriers to take the fastest route, which is often not an eco-friendly route. The increase in urban freight movement has thus brought along negative externalities such as congestion, emissions, and noise into cities. Alternative fuel technologies, such as electric trucks and hydrogen-fuel trucks can significantly reduce freight-related emissions. However, despite their lower operational costs, the high purchase cost and consequent longer payback periods compared to traditional vehicles, have resulted in slow adoption rates. Since the need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and local criteria pollutants is immediate, accounting for externalities in carriers’ tactical and operational decision-making in the form of eco-routing can bring about desired reductions in emissions. The objectives of this work are to explore the possibilities and potential of eco-routing from the perspective of the carrier, in terms of cost-benefits and trade-offs, and from the perspective of the regulator, in terms of network-wide effects and policy initiatives that could encourage carriers to eco-route. This study evaluates reduction in global greenhouse emissions and local criteria pollutants, with a particular focus on direct impacts on disadvantaged communities in the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) region.

Cover page of Hydrogen Infrastructure Requirements for Zero-Emission Freight Applications in California

Hydrogen Infrastructure Requirements for Zero-Emission Freight Applications in California

(2021)

Zero-emission vehicles are seen as key technologies for reducing freight- related air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. California’s 2016 Sustainable Freight Action Plan established a target of 100,000 zero-emission freight vehicles utilizing renewable fuels by 2030. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a promising zero-emission technology, especially for applications where batteries might be difficult to implement, such as heavy-duty trucks, rail, shipping and aviation. However, California’s current hydrogen infrastructure is sparse, with about 25 stations, primarily sited to serve fuel cell passenger vehicles and buses. New infrastructure strategies will be critical for implementing hydrogen freight applications. The researchers analyzed hydrogen infrastructure requirements, focusing on hydrogen fuel cells in freight applications, using a California-specific EXCEL-based scenario model developed under the Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways program (STEPS) at the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis (Miller et al, 2017). Hydrogen vehicle adoption and demand was estimated for trucks, rail, shipping, and aviation, for a range of scenarios out to 2050.

Cover page of Estimating the Costs of New Mobility Travel Options: Monetary and Non-Monetary Factors

Estimating the Costs of New Mobility Travel Options: Monetary and Non-Monetary Factors

(2020)

UC Davis researchers have developed a cost model of travel choices that individuals make related to urban vehicle travel. These choices can include deciding to own, ride in, and drive a private vehicle or use pooled or solo ridesourcing (e.g., Uber). The model considers both monetary and non-monetary factors that affect travel choice. Monetary factors include the costs of purchasing, maintaining, and fueling different types of privately owned vehicles; and the cost of using ridesourcing services. Non-monetary (or “hedonic”) factors include travel time, parking time/inconvenience, willingness to drive or be a passenger in a driven or automated vehicle, and willingness to travel with strangers. The travel choices affected by these factors impact broader society through traffic congestion, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, accidents, etc. and thus may be an important focus of policy. This report reviews recent literature, considers factors affecting travel choices, and reports, on a conjoint pilot survey or stated preferences. Finally, it considers approaches to apply time value to factors that are not typically associated with specific trips, such as time spent on vehicle maintenance and parking. The results should enable a deeper understanding of the likelihood that individuals will own and use private vehicles or use shared (solo and pooled) ridesourcing, and how automated vehicle services could affect these choices in the future. The study also highlights additional research needs, such as a large scale stated preference study covering more factors than have been included in previous studies.

View the NCST Project Webpage

Cover page of The Potential to Build Current Natural Gas Infrastructure to Accommodate the Future Conversion to Near-Zero Transportation Technology

The Potential to Build Current Natural Gas Infrastructure to Accommodate the Future Conversion to Near-Zero Transportation Technology

(2017)

The emergence of natural gas as an abundant, inexpensive fuel in the United States has highlighted the possibility that natural gas could play a significant role in the transition to low carbon fuels. Natural gas is often cited as a “bridge” to low carbon fuels in the transportation sector. Major corporations are already investing billions of dollars to build infrastructure to feed natural gas into the U.S. trucking industry and expand the use of natural gas in fleets. In the state of California, natural gas fueling infrastructure is expanding, especially in and around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The use of natural gas fueled medium and heavy duty fleets is currently on an upswing. The authors examine the precise natural gas infrastructure that is economically and technologically synergistic for both natural gas and renewable natural gas in the near-term, and alternative fuels like renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen in the long term. In particular, the authors examine optimum paths for developing infrastructure in the near-term that will accommodate alternative fuels once they become available at the commercial scale. The original design of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) provides time for the development of advanced, near zero technologies. The authors consider the credits from the LCFS in our analysis.

View the NCST Project Webpage

Cover page of Assessment of Critical Barriers to Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Deployment – Workshop Series

Assessment of Critical Barriers to Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Deployment – Workshop Series

(2016)

The University of California, Davis and the California Energy Commission held a series of three Emerging Technologies Workshops in late 2015 and early 2016. The goal of these workshops was to identify environmentally and economically promising alternative fuel and vehicle emerging technologies, and to identify and evaluate the critical business and policy barriers blocking their widespread adoption in the State and develop solutions for those barriers. Additionally, the workshops were to analyze the broad range of commercial barriers and identify strategies to increase the adoption and rapid scale-up of emerging technologies, fuels and fueling infrastructure that will help the state achieve its goals for air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. Each of these workshops convened groups of over 100 stakeholders engaged in the commercialization of emerging technologies for the light-, medium- and heavy-duty transportation sectors. Participants included manufacturers of incumbent and emerging alternative vehicle technologies, manufacturers of traditional and alternative fueling infrastructure, traditional and alternative fuel (including electricity) producers and supplies, financial institutions and investors, and public agencies concerned with energy, the environment, transportation, and the California economy.

View the NCST Project Webpage

Cover page of Strategies for Transitioning to Low-Carbon Emission Trucks in the United States

Strategies for Transitioning to Low-Carbon Emission Trucks in the United States

(2015)

This white paper reviews previous studies on prospects for reducing CO2 emissions from trucks. It provides a new investigation into the feasibility of achieving an 80% reduction in CO2-equivalent (CO2e) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States and California from trucks by 2050. The authors assess the technological and economic potential of achieving deep market penetrations of low-carbon vehicles and fuels, including vehicles operating on electricity, hydrogen, and biofuels. Achieving such a target for trucks will be very challenging and, if focused on hydrogen and electric zero emission vehicle (ZEV) technologies, will require strong sales growth beginning no later than 2025.

View the NCST Project Webpage