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Special Issue "Transportation and Sustainability"

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A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Jack Barkenbus (Website)

Vanderbilt Institute for Energy & Environment, USA
Phone: 615 343-1041
Fax: +615 322 7012
Interests: climate change; sustainable development; energy; clean technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Transportation practices have a major impact on our quest to create a more sustainable world, and automobile-dependent societies present particular challenges to sustainability.  Conventional wisdom is that increasing populations and economic growth will lead to more automobile dependence (and consequently, more carbon dioxide emissions), thereby exacerbating sustainability challenges.  However, recent studies have begun to challenge this wisdom. Goodwin (2012) has stated, “There is at the moment no strongly established common view about future growth in car use to the extent that was taken for granted in earlier decades.”*

This Special Issue is devoted to studies that examine forces impacting future automotive use.  Specifically, it is looking for studies that explore the relationship between car use and decreasing carbon dioxide emissions.  There are four separate ways to decrease the emissions associated with personal transportation: (1) decreasing reliance on automobiles for personal mobility; (2) reducing automotive distances travelled per year; (3) increasing the energy efficiency of our automobiles, and; (4) reducing the carbon emissions associated with transportation fuels.  This Special Issue welcomes articles that deal with any of the four methodologies, with special attention being given to whether current trends are structural in nature or just transitory phases in our long-term transportation future.

*Phil Goodwin (2012) “Peak Travel, Peak Car and the Future of Mobility: Evidence, Unresolved Issues, Policy Implications, and a Research Agenda” (discussion paper prepared for the Roundtable on Long-Run Trends in Travel Demand, International Transport Forum), 29-30 November.

Dr. Jack Barkenbus
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Keywords

  • vehicle miles traveled
  • car-sharing
  • electric vehicles
  • vehicle efficiency
  • mass-transit
  • greenhouse gas reductions
  • peak travel
  • demographic changes
  • low-carbon fuels
  • travel trends

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Social Sustainability Issues and Older Adults’ Dependence on Automobiles in Low-Density Environments
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7289-7309; doi:10.3390/su7067289
Received: 27 February 2015 / Accepted: 2 June 2015 / Published: 8 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An implicit assumption underlying government strategies to achieve a more sustainable urban transportation system is that all automobile users will be encouraged or persuaded to use more “green” transportation: public transportation, walking and cycling. Little consideration has been given as to how [...] Read more.
An implicit assumption underlying government strategies to achieve a more sustainable urban transportation system is that all automobile users will be encouraged or persuaded to use more “green” transportation: public transportation, walking and cycling. Little consideration has been given as to how sustainable transportation policies and programmess might impact on different age groups in society, including those retired or semi-retired, despite the fact that an unprecedented number of older drivers will be on the highways in the next few decades. There is limited literature on the contextual factors behind their continued reliance on automobiles, their actual driving behavior (e.g., route choice and time of day to drive) framed within the context of social sustainability. This paper introduces the elements of transportation and social sustainability then conducts a comprehensive international literature review focusing on older drivers, their travel choices and associated social sustainability issues. It describes a case study, low-density city and presents empirical evidence, from two surveys conducted in Canberra, Australia. The paper concludes with future research directions that address these issues associated with sustainable transportation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Estimating Energy Consumption of Transport Modes in China Using DEA
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4225-4239; doi:10.3390/su7044225
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 3 April 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (740 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rapid growth of transport requirements in China will incur increasing transport energy demands and associated environmental pressures. In this paper, we employ a generalized data envelopment analysis (DEA) to evaluate the relative energy efficiency of rail, road, aviation and water transport [...] Read more.
The rapid growth of transport requirements in China will incur increasing transport energy demands and associated environmental pressures. In this paper, we employ a generalized data envelopment analysis (DEA) to evaluate the relative energy efficiency of rail, road, aviation and water transport from 1971 to 2011 by considering the energy input and passenger-kilometers (PKM) and freight ton-kilometers (TKM) outputs. The results show that the optimal energy efficiencies observed in 2011 are for rail and water transport, with the opposite observed for the energy efficiencies of aviation and road transport. In addition, we extend the DEA model to estimate future transport energy consumption in China. If each transport mode in 2020 is optimized throughout the observed period, the national transport energy consumption in 2020 will reach 497,701 kilotons coal equivalent (ktce), whereas the annual growth rate from 2011 to 2020 will be 5.7%. Assuming that efficiency improvements occur in this period, the estimated national transport energy consumption in 2020 will be 443,126 ktce, whereas the annual growth rate from 2011 to 2020 will be 4.4%, which is still higher than that of the national total energy consumption (3.8%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Improving Log Loading Efficiency for Improved Sustainable Transport within the Irish Forest and Biomass Sectors
Sustainability 2015, 7(3), 3017-3030; doi:10.3390/su7033017
Received: 12 November 2014 / Revised: 22 February 2015 / Accepted: 24 February 2015 / Published: 12 March 2015
PDF Full-text (1374 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Ireland, timber and biomass haulage faces the challenge of transporting enough material within strict legal dimensions and gross vehicle weights restrictions for trucks and trailers. The objective of this study was to develop a method to control payload weight by knowing [...] Read more.
In Ireland, timber and biomass haulage faces the challenge of transporting enough material within strict legal dimensions and gross vehicle weights restrictions for trucks and trailers. The objective of this study was to develop a method to control payload weight by knowing the moisture content of the wood. Weights, volumes, and moisture content were gathered from 100 truckloads of Sitka spruce pulpwood. Truck volume and weight utilization patterns were analyzed based on stacked volume, truck volume, and weights recorded from the weighbridge. Solid/bulk volume conversion factors for the truckloads were estimated indicating the truck’s solid volume capacity to be filled. Trucks were grouped into five conditions based on their configuration—volume capacity and legal maximum payload. A loaded volume fraction was estimated to assess the optimal volume capacity and stanchion height at which the trucks should be loaded. Results showed that 100% of the trucks presented volume underutilization, with a maximum of 27.5 m3 (only 39.85% volume capacity). In contrast, 67% of trucks were overweight while the remaining 33% were under the legal maximum weight. The average solid/bulk volume conversion factor was 0.66 ± 0.013 at 95% confidence level. Depending on the conditions, trucks can be filled to 100% of their volume capacity with wood at an MC from 29% to 55%. The minimum truck volume capacity utilization was 45%. This methodology can be used by truck hauliers, enabling them to determine in-forest the optimum volume and weight of wood to be transported by knowing the moisture content (MC), the wood specie, and using the height of the stanchions of the trailer as reference when loading the truck. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Towards Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Alternative Passenger Vehicles
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9305-9342; doi:10.3390/su6129305
Received: 23 October 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (4177 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable transportation and mobility are key components and central to sustainable development. This research aims to reveal the macro-level social, economic, and environmental impacts of alternative vehicle technologies in the U.S. The studied vehicle technologies are conventional gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid with [...] Read more.
Sustainable transportation and mobility are key components and central to sustainable development. This research aims to reveal the macro-level social, economic, and environmental impacts of alternative vehicle technologies in the U.S. The studied vehicle technologies are conventional gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid with four different all-electric ranges, and full battery electric vehicles (BEV). In total, 19 macro level sustainability indicators are quantified for a scenario in which electric vehicles are charged through the existing U.S. power grid with no additional infrastructure, and an extreme scenario in which electric vehicles are fully charged with solar charging stations. The analysis covers all life cycle phases from the material extraction, processing, manufacturing, and operation phases to the end-of-life phases of vehicles and batteries. Results of this analysis revealed that the manufacturing phase is the most influential phase in terms of socio-economic impacts compared to other life cycle phases, whereas operation phase is the most dominant phase in the terms of environmental impacts and some of the socio-economic impacts such as human health and economic cost of emissions. Electric vehicles have less air pollution cost and human health impacts compared to conventional gasoline vehicles. The economic cost of emissions and human health impact reduction potential can be up to 45% and 35%, respectively, if electric vehicles are charged through solar charging stations. Electric vehicles have potential to generate income for low and medium skilled workers in the U.S. In addition to quantified sustainability indicators, some sustainability metrics were developed to compare relative sustainability performance alternative passenger vehicles. BEV has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions and ecological land footprint per $ of its contribution to the U.S. GDP, and has the lowest ecological footprint per unit of its energy consumption. The only sustainability metrics that does not favor the BEV is the water-energy ratio, where the conventional gasoline vehicle performed best. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Business Models for Solar Powered Charging Stations to Develop Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7358-7387; doi:10.3390/su6107358
Received: 3 August 2014 / Revised: 7 October 2014 / Accepted: 14 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (726 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electric power must become less dependent on fossil fuels and transportation must become more electric to decrease carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. Increasing availability and accessibility of charging stations is predicted to increase purchases of electric vehicles. In order to address [...] Read more.
Electric power must become less dependent on fossil fuels and transportation must become more electric to decrease carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. Increasing availability and accessibility of charging stations is predicted to increase purchases of electric vehicles. In order to address the current inadequate charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, major entities must adopt business models for solar powered charging stations (SPCS). These SPCS should be located in parking lots to produce electricity for the grid and provide an integrated infrastructure for charging electric vehicles. Due to the lack of information related to SPCS business models, this manuscript designs several models for major entities including industry, the federal and state government, utilities, universities, and public parking. A literature review of the available relevant business models and case studies of constructed charging stations was completed to support the proposals. In addition, a survey of a university’s students, staff, and faculty was conducted to provide consumer research on people’s opinion of SPCS construction and preference of business model aspects. Results showed that 69% of respondents would be more willing to invest in an electric vehicle if there was sufficient charging station infrastructure at the university. Among many recommendations, the business models suggest installing level 1 charging for the majority of entities, and to match entities’ current pricing structures for station use. The manuscript discusses the impacts of fossil fuel use, and the benefits of electric car and SPCS use, accommodates for the present gap in available literature on SPCS business models, and provides current consumer data for SPCS and the models proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Vehicle Ownership Analysis Based on GDP per Capita in China: 1963–2050
Sustainability 2014, 6(8), 4877-4899; doi:10.3390/su6084877
Received: 21 May 2014 / Revised: 16 July 2014 / Accepted: 25 July 2014 / Published: 4 August 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the Gompertz function of per capita GDP and vehicle stock to forecast the vehicle ownership of China through to 2050 against a background of increasing energy use and CO2 emissions associated with the potential demands of on-road vehicles. [...] Read more.
This paper presents the Gompertz function of per capita GDP and vehicle stock to forecast the vehicle ownership of China through to 2050 against a background of increasing energy use and CO2 emissions associated with the potential demands of on-road vehicles. We forecast the level of vehicle stock in China based on the extant patterns of vehicle development in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, Europe, the United States and Japan. The results show that the OECD pattern and European pattern are more suitable for describing China’s vehicle stock growth when compared with Japanese and U.S. patterns. The study finds that China’s vehicle stock has developed as an S-shaped curve. During the forecast period, the inflection point of the increasing curve appears around the year 2030, with the annual growth of vehicle ownership increasing from 6.13% to 9.50% in the prior period prior and subsequently dropping to 0.45% in 2050. Based on the sensitivity analysis and robustness check, the impact of different Gompertz curve parameters and GDP growth rates on vehicle stock projection are analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Case Study: Designing for Sustainability and Reliability in an Automotive Seat Structure
Sustainability 2014, 6(7), 4608-4631; doi:10.3390/su6074608
Received: 21 April 2014 / Revised: 3 July 2014 / Accepted: 16 July 2014 / Published: 23 July 2014
PDF Full-text (2280 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, sustainability has been a growing concern for many industries and especially for the transportation sector due to it being the second largest energy consumer and largest contributor of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions within the European Union. New legal restrictions on the [...] Read more.
Recently, sustainability has been a growing concern for many industries and especially for the transportation sector due to it being the second largest energy consumer and largest contributor of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions within the European Union. New legal restrictions on the emission rates have forced the automotive sector to examine different fuel-efficient technologies. Vehicle weight reduction is one of the most important methods of improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. Accordingly, lighter, safer, more fuel efficient, and environmentally sustainable vehicles are a priority for European authorities. In the present work, the passenger seat structure was considered as the area for lightweighting due to its important role in the mass of commercial vehicles in terms of numbers per vehicle. In addition, seat structures presented the best opportunity for weight reduction using new materials and design techniques. Detailed (3D) finite element models of passenger seats were developed for finite element analyses (FEA). To obtain a lightweight and safe seat structure, different materials and thicknesses of profiles were analyzed. Lightweight passenger seat prototypes were developed and an overall 20% weight reduction was achieved including the structural frame, chassis and pillar. In addition, the new passenger seat meets ECE R14 safety norms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)

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