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Groundbreaking Research by VEIC Connects Transportation and Energy Efficiency Sectors

Mar 12, 2013

VEIC has recently released three groundbreaking reports illustrating that principles long at work in the field of energy efficiency can help transform the transportation sector, and drastically reduce its impact on the environment. The reports, produced by VEIC’s Transportation Efficiency Division, examine the impacts of increased consumer adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).  The transition away from conventional gasoline-powered fuels and towards an electrified transportation system offers an unparalleled opportunity to apply lessons learned from energy efficiency utilities, and take a systems-level approach that uses less energy to meet or reduce current travel demand.

Measure for Measure: Using the energy utility model to standardize evaluation of transportation efficiency measures” presents an example of how screening tools (commonly employed methods of assessing the environmental and financial benefits of efficiency measures) might be applied to determine the costs and benefits of a switch from a conventional vehicle to an EV. Moving forward, cost-effectiveness screening tools will offer a quantifiable and transparent means of evaluating the impacts of a range of transportation efficiency and demand management measures.

Transportation Infrastructure Funding with an Electrified Fleet” builds on a study commissioned by the Vermont Agency of Transportation to examine the impact of EVs on transportation infrastructure funding. As revenue from gasoline user fees continues to decline sharply, the emergence of EVs and alternative –fueled vehicles may exacerbate the current infrastructure funding crunch. In the long run, however, they may present an opportunity to fund transportation in a way that is smarter, and more sustainable.

An Assessment of Level 1 and Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Efficiency” explores the most common current options for EV charging infrastructure, and determines that Level 2 chargers are notably more efficient than Level 1 chargers. As the penetration of EVs continues to grow, this knowledge will be critical to fully understanding, and effectively mitigating, their impact on the electric grid.

“This research is part of a much broader effort to develop strategies and solutions for lessening the environmental and economic impact of transportation energy use,” said Karen Glitman, Director of Transportation Efficiency at VEIC.  “The challenges in this sector are large – but they can be addressed through a cross-cutting approach that applies key tactics from the worlds of electric and thermal efficiency to deliver concrete, measurable, and verifiable results.”

Upcoming research from VEIC will include an examination of the potential of EVs to serve as a grid resource, and an additional study to determine the optimal locations for EV charging infrastructure in Vermont.


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