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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Research Reports

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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