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California Drives Toward Electric Future

The pressure is on for California to meet its clean-vehicle goals. In less than two years, 35% of vehicles sold must have zero tailpipe emissions. And by 2035, all light-duty vehicles sold must be zero emissions. 

USDOT awards $1.7 million in research funding to UC-Davis for Climate Change and Transportation Research Center

The new center, which will be led by Kari Watkins, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and faculty affiliate at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, will advance research and technologies to support the nation’s clean energy goals, accelerate decarbonization of the transportation sector, strengthen the resilience of the nation’s transportation infrastructure and address environmental inequities created by the transportation system.

Blog: Releasing the Pressure: Cultivating Graphite Value Chains in an Expanding Market

Graphite is carbon in its crystalline form. With its distinctive electrochemical properties, it forms anodes in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), ensuring that they have stable charge and discharge cycles. Globally, as countries rely increasingly on electric power, the demand for LIBs—and therefore graphite—will be driven by both in-vehicle batteries and stationary energy storage. As nations choose where to invest, care must be taken to ensure that negative social and environmental impacts are avoided and that geopolitical concerns are carefully managed.

Blog: Electrifying Transportation and Shifting Travel Patterns can Cut CO2 while Saving the US Trillions of Dollars

Widespread adoption of electric vehicles—combined with a shift in travel modes towards more walking, cycling, and transit use—can help ease the climate crisis, improve quality of life, and save Americans money. A key to shifting travel modes to less automobile use is making biking, walking, and transit safer and more convenient by redirecting infrastructure investments and making urban areas more compact.

Blog: As Countries Set Ambitious Targets for Electric Vehicle Sales, More International Trade and Domestic Investment Is Needed

In an effort to curb emissions, governments in major vehicle markets are proposing and adopting requirements that electric vehicles (EVs) make up a certain percentage of new vehicle sales in coming years. This week the Government of Canada announced EV sales targets of 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2035 for light-duty vehicles, similar to the goals the United States announced last year of 50% by 2030 and 67% by 2032.

Transportation and Climate Blog: Making Policy in the Absence of Certainty: Biofuels and Land Use Change

Biofuels are an important tool to help decarbonize our transportation system, and their role will likely grow in coming years. New tax credits authorized under the Inflation Reduction Act are being finalized; these would offer significant incentives for the biofuel alternatives to conventional jet fuel, so-called “Sustainable Aviation Fuels” or SAF. But it’s not always clear how sustainable these fuels truly are, or whether they offer a significant GHG advantage over petroleum.

Is a Ban on Gas-Powered Cars Coming? How States and Federal Agencies Are Pushing EV Adoption

Debapriya Chakraborty, an EV researcher at UC Davis’s Institute of Transportation Studies, says government emissions standards will play an important role in the transition to EVs because they can force automakers to send more EVs to the market. But incentives will be necessary too, she says, at least as long as EVs cost more than their gas-powered counterparts. Read more here...

Transportation and Climate Blog: Supporting California’s Move to Zero-Emission Vehicles by Creating a Viable, Large-Scale Fuel-Cell Vehicle and Hydrogen System

California is marching ahead with firm rules now in place for both light-duty and medium/heavy-duty vehicles to transition to zero emission stock by 2045. The State is requiring that all new vehicles sold from 2035 onward be “zero-emission vehicles” (ZEVs)—battery electric, plug-in hybrid, or hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles. While battery electric vehicles currently dominate ZEV sales and discussions of the zero-emissions future, fuel-cell vehicles are expected to play a key role, especially in truck and bus fleets and some households.

Government of Telangana and University of California, Davis Partner to Drive Zero Emission Vehicle Research and Knowledge Exchange

The India Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Research Centre at the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis signed an MoU with the Government of Telangana on 22 May, 2023 in San Francisco, California. The MoU will support the Telangana state government’s vision of providing its people with cost effective and environmentally sustainable mobility options with an aim to drive economic growth.

Global Transition to Electric Vehicles Needs Urgent Support, Report Warns

Without targeted support for low- and middle-income countries to transition toward zero-emission mobility, global progress toward zero-emission goals will be critically slowed, risking serious and inequitable outcomes, warns a new report by the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies and the U.K. government’s ZEV Transition Council, supported by the FIA Foundation.

Blog: Cutting US road sector GHG emissions by 90% or more by 2050 takes both ZEVs and low-carbon fuels

Big reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector are needed to limit the magnitude of climate change impacts. Understanding what kinds of policy and market dynamics are at play can help us meet national goals. Our recent study shows that there is an interplay between policy, vehicle types, and fuel sources, and that early investment in zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) could yield big savings and big reductions in GHG emissions, by 2050. Low-carbon fuels for non-electric vehicles will also need to play an important role.

Blog: Get in the Know About California Climate and Transportation Policy

It’s September–the month when Californians (especially policy wonks) wait with bated breath for the Governor’s end-of-the-month deadline for signing or vetoing bills. This year, Governor Newsom has championed a portfolio of ambitious climate bills and the Legislature has delivered them, with measures seeking to cut carbon from the electricity grid, transportation, buildings, natural lands, and industry.