Identifying Roadway Physical Characteristics that Contribute to Emissions Differences between Hybrid and Conventional Vehicles

Principal Investigator: James Sullivan | The University of Vermont
Research Team: Karen M. Sentoff | University of Vermont

In this study, a second-by-second (SbS) data set obtained from monitoring vehicle emissions over a series of 75 test runs from 2 test vehicles (a conventional vehicle (CV) and a hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV)) over an 18-month period in 2010-2011 during real-world on-road operations on a specified 32-mile route in Chittenden County, Vermont was used in an innovative new method of analysis to assess emissions differences between the two propulsion systems and attribute these differences to physical roadway/infrastructure characteristics. The K-S test was used to assess the difference between the cumulative distributions of the CV and HEV emissions samples on each link, and the K-S test statistic was regressed against the full set of roadway link characteristics. The regression results allowed the team to identify specific roadway characteristics that contribute to emissions differences between the vehicle types. Overall, the models that included maximum grade and intersection control type performed best, however speed limit and horizontal curvature were also shown to be important. The performance differences identified in this project confirm that engine controls that are responsive to roadway characteristics are necessary.

Status: Completed
Funding: $59,290
Sponsors: U.S. Department of Transportation, University of Vermont

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