Transportation Fundamentals

In 2019, UC Davis experts met with a cross section of policy stakeholders to discuss sustainable transportation topics in California and the rest of the US over the coming years. The Transportation Fundamentals briefing series was an opportunity for staffers in the Legislature, Regulatory Agencies and NGOs who are new to the sustainable transportation space to familiarize themselves with important technologies, statistics and trends in electric vehicles, alternative fuels, sustainable freight. Timed to coincide with the start of California's Legislative Session, the Transportation Fundamentals briefings intended to help improve the capacity of the policy community to constructively engage on these subjects.

Electric Vehicles, EV Policies and Key Concepts 

Electrification has the potential to fundamentally re-shape transportation in the coming decades and California is among the global leaders of the transition. In this briefing, UC Davis researchers discuss the basic elements of electric vehicle technology and policy, including: 

  • What is an Electric Vehicle (EV), Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) and a Fuel-Cell Vehicle? 
  • Emissions impacts of EVs 
  • Current and expected costs of EVs 
  • State and Federal policies and incentives 
  • Charging and infrastructure 
  • Experiences of early adopters – how are people using them right now? 

Click to view the electric vehicles presentation slide deck

The Low Carbon Fuel Standard, Alternative Fuels, and Key Concepts for Sustainable Transportation 

California has been a global leader in the deployment of sustainable alternative fuels. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is a major contributor to this leadership. In this briefing, UC Davis researchers explain many of the concepts and technologies which will shape the coming decades of sustainable transportation: 

  • Alternative fuels and the vehicles which can use them 
  • Understanding the life cycle impacts of fuels 
  • Fuel infrastructure and markets 
  • How the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) works 
  • Recent changes to the LCFS and looking forward to 2030 

Click to view the Low Carbon Fuel Standard presentation slide deck

Sustainable Freight 

In recent decades, the United States has seen massive port, logistics and warehouse growth as the demand for freight continues to grow. Freight is a major source of pollution and has significant, environmental, equity, and health implications. Policies are in place to improve system efficiency and reduce emissions. In this briefing, UC Davis researchers cover the following: 

  • California freight overview
  • Environmental, equity, and health impacts of freight
  • Progress reducing emissions
  • Sustainable Freight Action Plan
  • Alternative fuels, batteries, and zero-emission freight
  • Automation and e-commerce
  • The future of freight

Click to view the sustainable freight presentation slide deck

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