transportation fuel

U.S. Fuel Economy Standards: Economics and Efficiency

Mark Jacobsen, professor, University of California, San Diego, research associate, National Bureau of Economic Research

Monday, November 17, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

The U.S. corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards place requirements on the efficiency of new vehicles sold and are a cornerstone of U.S. efforts to reduce gasoline use. They are currently slated for a sharp increase in stringency, nearly doubling the average fuel economy of new vehicles by 2025. I will present results from a set of three projects examining the economics behind these rules: First, I measure the overall costs of CAFE policy using detailed data on demand for new vehicles and a model of producer behavior. Second, I address the intertwined questions of vehicle size and accident safety in the context of CAFE. Finally, I will present results from a current working paper that measures the effects of CAFE on used vehicle scrappage.

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Resource Revolution: A Tenfold Increase in Productivity

Stefan Heck, consulting professor, Precourt Institute for Energy

Monday, October 27, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

The prophets of doom are wrong. They believe the rapid rise over the next two decades of a new 2.5-billion-person urban middle class—and the unprecedented demand this growth will generate for oil, gas, steel, land, food, water, cement, clean air, and other commodities—must inevitably spur a global economic and environmental crisis. This talk takes that challenge seriously—but comes to exactly the opposite conclusion.

Instead, I will make the case that we are on the cusp of a new industrial revolution, the Resource Revolution, and that that same order of magnitude change we saw in labor productivity is possible for resources. We can meet soaring demand in a sustainable way by transforming how companies and societies prosper represents nothing less than the biggest business opportunity in one hundred years. The combination of information technology, nanoscale materials, and biotech with traditional industrial technology can unleash a step-change in resource productivity and generate enormous new profit pools. However, capturing these business opportunities—and avoiding the disruption they bring—will require an entirely new approach to management.

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Has Motorization in the U.S. Peaked?

Michael Sivak, director, Sustainable Worldwide Transportation, University of Michigan

Monday, October 20, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

I will discuss two series of studies related to the possible peaking of motorization in the U.S. In the first series of studies, I examined recent changes in the number of registered light-duty vehicles, and the corresponding changes in distance driven and fuel consumed. The units of the analyses were both the absolute numbers and the rates per person, per driver, and per household.

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Saving Time and Energy through Bus-Rapid-Transit Projects Around the World

Sharareh Tavafrashti, Principal Engineer, San Francisco County Transportation Authority

Elkin Bello, Program Manager, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy 

Monday, April 7, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Shari Tavafrashti Elkin Bello

As the cost of providing space and energy for personal transportation options have increased both on the capital side as well as its energy footprint and consequences, mass transportation is gaining priority for developing and developed countries. In this presentation, we will provide a few examples of the successful and not so successful implementations for the bus rapid transit system around the world. The lecture will compare key features of various BRT projects around the world and attempt to address their impact on sustainable development and transportation solutions in each environment.

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Extreme Environment Sensing for Smart Power and Propulsion Systems

Debbie Senesky, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University

Monday, February 25, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Harsh environment sensors can be used to perform real-time, in-situ combustion monitoring leading to designs of power and propulsion systems (e.g. automotive engines, industrial gas turbines and aircraft engines) with increased efficiencies, fuel flexibility and reduced CO2 emissions.

In addition, new milestones in space exploration can be realized through the development of high temperature, radiation-hardened materials, instrumentation and energy conversion devices. In this talk, compelling results of silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN) and aluminum nitride (AlN) sensor operation at temperatures as high as 600oC is reviewed.

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Car Sharing and Pooling: Reducing Car Over-Population and Collaborative Consumption

John Atcheson, Vice President, Getaround

Logan Green, CEO & Co-founder, Zimride

Monday, April 9, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All


John Atcheson

 


Logan Green

In the United States alone, there are more than 250 million cars and light trucks, and these vehicles sit idle an average of 92% of the time.  With the average car costing more than $6,500 per year just to own, (i.e., not including gas and other operating expenses), this represents over $1.5 trillion dollars each year in wasted capital.  Peer-to-peer car sharing puts this capital to use, as John Atcheson will discuss, giving car owners the opportunity to earn thousands of dollars per year off their idle asset, and providing drivers with a viable alternative to car ownership.  In the process, peer-to-peer car sharing dramatically helps our environment. Studies have shown that the average shared car replaces 9-13 other cars, and that drivers who switch from driving their own car to driving a shared car reduce both vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40%. This presentation will focus on the opportunities and challenges facing peer-to-peer car sharing, and offer a vision for a world in which every car is shared.
 
People are in the beginning of a dramatic transformation that is changing the way we think about personal transportation. In this new age, access trumps ownership. Access to a network that gets us from point A to point B is becoming more desirable than incurring all of the expenses and burdens associated with car ownership. Logan Green will explore how this new transportation network is taking shape, why it’s happening now, and the factors that are making it possible.
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California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard: A Debate

David Stern, ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company and
Dan Sperling, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California at Davis

Please note different venue (320-105) and day (Wednesday)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 | 04:15 PM - 05:30 PM | | Free and Open to All

 

 

 

 

 


Dr. David Stern
Advanced Fuels Senior Advisor
ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company

 


Professor Dan Sperling
Director, Institute of Transportation Studies
at the University of California, Davis

       

Abstract from Daniel Sperling:

The low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) is being implemented in California and the EU and is under serious consideration in over 10 states and Canadian provinces.  The LCFS provides a promising and durable policy framework to decarbonize transportation fuels.  It is performance based, harnesses market forces (through credit trading), and utilizes lifecycle principles.  Though one might prefer more theoretically elegant policies such as carbon taxes and cap-and-trade, those other instruments are not likely to be effective in the foreseeable future with transport fuels.  They would not be sufficient to induce large investments in electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and advanced biofuels.  The implementation of LCFS faces various political, scientific, and implementation challenges, but that is not surprising for a policy that aims to transform the oil and biofuels industries.

Abstract from Dr. David Stern:

Challenges to Meet a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)

As part of AB32, California’s Climate Change Act, the California Air Resource Board (CARB) has enacted a Low Carbon Fuel Standard.  The LCFS mandates a reduction in fuel life-cycle carbon intensity (CI), versus a petroleum fuel (gasoline/diesel) baseline.  At low CI reduction targets, increased use of biofuel is needed to meet the target, but higher CI reduction targets (e.g., 10%) are infeasible without large numbers of electric vehicles, large use of very low CI biofuels, or both. 

This talk will review the challenges in meeting the LCFS, and why LCFS is a complex, cost ineffective, and non-transparent policy to reduce GHG’s.

  • On a cost per unit GHG reduction, transportation-fuel-related cost reductions substantially exceeds the cost of other GHG reductions
  • If policy goals are to promote biofuels or to electrify the fleet, direct and transparent regulations are better ways to meet these goals
  • If the policy goal is GHG reduction, the most efficient and cost effective approach is a broad based, revenue-neutral carbon tax

Our discussion will also review principles to consider in policy development. If society chooses to implement climate policy, such policies should: ensure a uniform and predictable cost of GHG emissions, let market prices drive the solution, minimize complexity, maximize transparency, and adjust to future developments in climate science and the economic impacts of climate policies.

 

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Transportation in a Climate-Constrained World

Andreas Schäfer, University of Cambridge

Monday, March 7, 2011 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Transportation consumes two-thirds of the world’s petroleum and has become the largest contributor to global environmental change. Most of this increase in scale can be attributed to the strong desire for personal mobility that comes with economic growth. This talk will cover the past and future travel demand; the influence of personal and business choices on passenger travel’s climate impact; technologies and alternative fuels that may become available to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from passenger transport; and policies that would promote a more sustainable transportation system. And most important, when all of these options are taken together, it will consider whether a more sustainable transportation system will be possible in the next thirty to fifty years, or whether we must accept a future where transportation remains a major contributor to climate change.
 
This talk is based on a recently published book “Transportation in a Climate-Constrained World” (MIT Press), by Andreas Schäfer and three MIT-colleagues, John B. Heywood, Henry D. Jacoby, and Ian A. Waitz.
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Converting Sunlight Into Fuels -- the Role of Interface Catalysis

Jens K. Norskov, Center for Interface Science and Catalysis, SLAC

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All

Essentially all sustainable energy systems rely on the energy influx from the sun. In order to store solar energy it is most conveniently transformed into a chemical form, a fuel. The key to provide an efficient transformation of energy to a chemical form is the availability of suitable catalysts, and we will need to find new catalysts for a number of processes if we are to successfully synthesize fuels from sunlight. Insight into the way the catalysts work at the molecular may prove essential to speed up the discovery process. The lecture will discuss some of the challenges to catalyst discovery, the associated challenges to science as well as some approaches to molecular level catalyst design. Specific examples will include the (photo-)electrochemical oxygen evolution and hydrogen evolution reactions, carbon dioxide reduction, and biomass transformation reactions.

No video available

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Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford: The Grand Challenge

Lynn Orr, Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor in Petroleum Engineering, Energy Resources Engineering Department Director, Precourt Institute for Energy

 

Panelists: 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All

Franklin M. ("Lynn") Orr, Jr. became the director of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford upon its establishment in 2009. He served as director of the Global Climate and Energy Project from 2002 to 2008. Orr was the Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University from 1994 to 2002. He has been a member of the Stanford faculty since 1985 and holds the Keleen and Carlton Beal Chair of Petroleum Engineering in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering, and is a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment. His research activities focus on how complex fluid mixtures flow in the porous rocks in the Earth's crust, the design of gas injection processes for enhanced oil recovery, and CO2 storage in subsurface formations. Orr is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He serves as vice chair of the board of directors of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and he chairs the Science Advisory Committee for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and was a foundation board member from 1999-2008.

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