Transportation Energy Research - Transportation Systems

The majority of California's greenhouse gas emissions are the result of infrastructure and development decisions. To meet its energy and climate change goals, California's land use planning and infrastructure investments must place a high priority on improving the energy efficiency of the state's transportation systems.

The Transportation Systems focus area conducts research to develop tools, methods, data, and insights to mitigate the energy impacts of land use decisions and infrastructure investments. Emphasizing a systems approach, research is conducted across four broad topics: Sustainable Communities, Electric Fuel, Goods Movement, and Mass Transit. To date research has been conducted in the Sustainable Communities and Electric Fuel topics.

urban setting with light rail trains

Sustainable Communities

Sustainable Communities research is conducted within the emerging field of urban metabolism. This research supports the integrated land use planning efforts of regional and local agencies with an emphasis on:

  • Advancing methods to measure and monitor the system-wide impacts of land use decisions.
  • Developing data-driven planning tools and case studies to help regional and local agencies design, test, and implement new policies.
  • Assessing institutional barriers and policy drivers to energy efficient community development and land use strategies

To date the Transportation Systems focus area has:

cars at electric fueling station

Electric Fuel

Using electricity as a transportation fuel (electric fuel) can provide significant benefits to California including improved energy security, improved environmental and public health quality, and reduced fueling costs. The Transportation Systems focus area conducts research to help California prepare for and incent the commercialization of electric fuel with an emphasis on:

  • Reducing and restructuring the high cost of electric vehicle batteries through second-life applications.
  • Integrating electric vehicle charging with smart grid technologies.
  • Determining the system utilization impacts of electric fuel on the grid.

To date the Transportation Systems focus area has:

See Final Reports and Publications

See Fact Sheets for ongoing and recent projects

Research Highlights