Mobility, Energy, and Emissions Impacts of Shared, Autonomous, and Electric Vehicles (SAEVs) to Disadvantaged Communities in California

The introduction of shared, autonomous, and electric vehicles (SAEVs) may offer many benefits in transportation, energy, and sustainability. However, the majority of current research in this area examines holistic benefits to society, and most of the practical implementation efforts are focused on feasible business cases (oftentimes in major urban environments). In this study, the research team proposes to conduct research on the impacts of SAEVs specifically on lower income and disadvantaged communities in California. These effects include mobility impacts (accessibility, increased modal diversity, enhanced services, costs), infrastructure requirements, emissions benefits, and indirect impacts (exposure to new mobility services and electric vehicle technologies). The research will be conducted through three phases. Firstly, a simulation model will be constructed to identify the mobility impacts of substituting SAEVs with other travel modes for various income communities. Second, the charging infrastructure needs to support the SAEVs charging needs will be identified. Lastly, the distributional energy and environmental impacts of upstream electricity will be measured by running the Grid Operation Optimized Dispatch (GOOD) model. This study will provide insights on the overall impacts from SAEVs and the demographical variability of this impacts under various scenarios of adoption levels and charging patterns.

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