Future Vehicles and Fuels

Future Vehicles and Fuels
Future Vehicle Technologies, Fuels & Fleets is a collaboration between MIT and the Paul Scherrer Institute, ETH/EPFL. The two research groups analyse pathways for the evolution of US and European vehicle fleets in a “wells-to-wheels” analysis of alternative fuels, powertrains and integrative vehicle designs (such as plug-in hybrids, lighter vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells, etc.). The analysis includes comprehensive life cycle assessments of alternative vehicle fuels (biofuels, compressed natural gas CNG, hydrogen) and scenarios for how alternative vehicle fuels could be introduced into the market. The findings are used to develop policy recommendations on how vehicle fleets in the US and Europe can be transformed to halve their carbon emissions by 2050.

MIT Sloan Automotive Lab: Fueling our Transportation Future
The research goal is to investigate near- to medium-term solutions that would curb petroleum and energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions from light-duty vehicle fleet over the next three decades. The project models the potential fleet-wide impact of future alternative fuels and vehicle technology developments on fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions in both the US and Europe. The project also examines policy measures that may influence the adoption of these technologies.

More information at Sloan Automotive Laboratory
Contact: Prof. John Heywood, Director of Sloan Automotive Laboratory

CCEM project: Transition to Hydrogen Based Transportation – Challenges and Opportunities
The project has developed a system dynamics model that captures the behavior of new vehicle purchasers, whose decisions are often dominated by non-economic arguments. Coupled with the fleet model for European countries developed in collaboration with MIT, the model can assess the impact of various climate protection policies on fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of the European car fleet.

The project has also carried out a comprehensive life cycle assessment of biofuels and of hydrogen as energy carriers – in particular methane from wood and hydrogen produced by solar chemistry. The team assessed the whole ensemble of hydrogen production options, including decentralized production of hydrogen at fuelling stations, and centralized production from fossil or renewable primary energies, including storage and distribution via pipeline or truck delivery.

More information at HY_Change website
Contact: Prof. Alexander Wokaun, Paul Scherrer Institute