Life Cycle Modeling of Technologies and Operational Strategies for a Sustainable Freight System in California

California’s freight transportation system is a vital part of the state’s economy, but generates a high portion of local pollution in parts of the state with poor air quality. In recognition of these challenges, Executive Order B-32-15 encourages adoption of advanced vehicle technologies and infrastructure, as well as the use of alternative energy and fuels in the freight sector. These measures are echoed in the state’s Sustainable Freight Action Plan.

Most emissions reductions from freight vehicle activities are expected to come from the deployment of new emissions control devices, efficiency improvements, and zero emissions vehicle technologies for on-road trucks.  Where emissions occur, and how emissions of different pollutants are affected by factors including vocation, duty cycle, powertrain configuration, and fuel pathway, will influence the effectiveness and economic costs of emissions reduction strategies. This research will apply a life cycle perspective to assess the energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, air quality impacts, and costs of on-road freight vehicle technologies and operational strategies identified under the Sustainable Freight Action Plan.  Findings will be synthesized and reported as abatement costs and will be a first step in building a supply curve for GHG mitigation from the freight sector.


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