MATS UTC researchers at the University of Virginia and Old Dominion University are studying electric vehicle adoption patterns and subsequent air quality impacts in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are looking for your input! Complete our survey (estimated to take 15-20 mins) and tell us whether you are interested in a “green vehicle” for your next vehicle purchase.
When you purchase your next vehicle, will you consider buying an electric vehicle (EV)? If you already own an EV, are you wondering about the future of EV ownership and how increased usage might impact the number and placement of charging stations? Is increased EV use actually having a positive environmental impact?
Researchers at the University of Virginia (UVA) and Old Dominion University (ODU) are taking these issues seriously. Funding from MATS UTC is enabling them to model anticipated EV adoption patterns, giving them the ability to predict which households in which neighborhoods are most likely to own such vehicles. Combined with influence factors such as technology familiarity, vehicle availability, charging infrastructure provision and demographics, this predictive model could play a vital role in informing public policy related to power-grid planning, transportation investments and air quality strategies.
Taking a two-pronged research approach, the researchers are assessing both revealed preferences (RP) and stated preferences (SP) to understand how various factors influence vehicle choice. T. Donna Chen, PE, PhD, department of civil and environmental engineering at UVA, along with PhD student, Wenjian Jia, and Rajesh Paleti, PhD, department of civil and environmental engineering at ODU, are analyzing vehicle registration data (2008 to 2016) from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to develop a snapshot of RP related to actual adoption and use among regional EV owners. In the spring of 2018, survey data will be collected to determine SP toward vehicle traits, land use and EV infrastructure. A predictive spatial model is being developed based on this individual and geographic level data to better understand the impact of various regional factors and household demographics on EV adoption.
The research team is working with Virginia Clean Cities, a non-profit organization focused on reducing reliance on gas-powered vehicles, to reach out to EV owners and stakeholders. “We’re directly engaging with consumers and industry, developing an applications-based approach to help transportation planners, utility providers and public policy professionals make informed planning decisions based on when and where new EV households will emerge,” explained Chen. “These results may also lead to better insights about air quality impacts and the effect of EV adoption trends on the carbon footprint in Virginia.”
These findings will help to create a more accurate profile of EV adopters in Virginia. Ultimately, the modeling capabilities could provide a decision framework to determine the most effective placement of charging stations as well as the effects of various policies, such as rebates or usage fees, on actual EV adoption and use.
For more information, contact Dr. Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-924-6224.
Sustainability and Safety Considerations in Evolving Transportation Environments
As a PhD candidate, Seyedehsan (Ehsan) Dadvar has spent his academic career studying road safety and its relationship to the ever-evolving environment related to connected, autonomous and electric vehicles, traffic simulation and freight logistics. He has become increasingly interested in the social and economic impacts of connected vehicle technologies and consumer behaviors related to these technologies.
Working with his co-advisors, Young-Jae Lee, PhD in the Department of Transportation and Urban Infrastructure Studies at MSU, and Hyeon-Shic Shin, PhD in the City and Regional Planning Program of the School of Architecture and Planning at MSU, Dadvar has contributed to a number of research projects. He is Co-Principal Investigator on an analysis of bicycle and pedestrian crash causes and interventions funded by DDOT. He has studied next generation volume reduction green infrastructure stormwater control measures (Philadelphia’s Green City Clean Waters Initiative) funded by the EPA. Recently, Dadvar and his fellow researchers completed a study funded by the CVI-UTC on applications of connected vehicle infrastructure technologies to enhance transit service efficiency and safety.
MATS UTC provided Dadvar with the opportunity to collaborate with researchers at Marshall University and Virginia Tech on the MATS UTC-funded research project, “Environmental and Safety Attributes of Electric Vehicle Ownership and Commuting Behavior.” The researchers studied attitudes toward electric vehicle (EV) use as well as the differences in commuting behavior between EV and conventional vehicle owners. The results have public policy and transportation planning implications related to EV promotion and subsidies, infrastructure related to charging stations and statewide traffic models. This work was presented at the 1st and 2nd MATS UTC Annual Meetings at the University of Delaware in 2015 and at a poster session at the University of Virginia in 2016. The final report may be viewed at http://www.matsutc.org/mode-choice-between-electric-vehicles-and-rail-transit-for-commute-trips/.
“Ehsan Dadvar has been one of the most conscientious graduate research assistants with whom we’ve had the pleasure of working,” stated Dr. Andrew Farkas, PhD, Director of the Urban Mobility and Equity Center at MSU. “His insights, analytical skills and attention to detail ensure that final technical reports, presentations, and publications we’ve co-authored over the past three years have been so highly valued.”
Dadvar is working on the final stages of his dissertation titled “Improving Crash Predictability of the Highway Safety Manual through Alternate Local Calibration Process.” The aim is to improve current procedure with a more robust approach to account for attributes of roadway segments or intersections at disaggregate level. Preliminary results were presented as a poster at the Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting in 2016.
Upon graduating next spring, Dadvar hopes to pursue a post-doctoral fellowship to continue these research interests. “As the market for connected and autonomous vehicles grows, there is a critical need for a better understanding of the safety environment in which these vehicles will operate,” explained Dadvar. “As engineers, we must anticipate the evolution of various modes of transportation and be prepared to address related safety concerns. But this is more than an engineering problem. It’s having the foresight to understand their interconnectedness and impact on quality of life within an urban planning context.”
In addition to publishing in the ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering, the Transportation Research Record: Journal of the TRB, and the Journal of Transportation Security, he has presented posters and other presentations across the country, including at the 92nd – 96th Annual Meetings of the TRB, the 2015 ITE Mid-Colonial District Annual Conference, the FHWA Highway Institute, and the 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Cities, Urban Sustainability and Transportation.
He is a member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), including serving as the MSU Chapter President (2013-14), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the American Statistical Association (ASA), and the Iranian Construction Engineers Organization (ICEO). He has served as a “friend” to the Transportation Research Board on its Standing Committee on Highway Safety Performance, the Standing Committee on Safety Data, Analysis and Evaluation, the Standing Committee on Pedestrians and Bicycle Transportation.
Dadvar will receive his PhD in Transportation from Morgan State University next spring. He has an MSc in Transportation Engineering from IAU – South Tehran Branch and a BSc in Civil Engineering from IAU – Gorgan, Iran.
He may be contacted at Seyedehsan.Dadvar@morgan.edu.