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An optimization approach to occupant safety and fuel economy in vehicle design
A major challenge in automotive design is the creation of safe vehicles with minimal environmental impact. This study presents a modeling framework for evaluating and optimizing body designs for improved occupant safety and fuel efficiency. Vehicle body mass is considered as the main link between...
Air conditioning versus heating: Climate control is more energy demanding in Minneapolis than in Miami.
Energy demand for climate control was analyzed for Miami (the warmest large metropolitan area in the US) and Minneapolis (the coldest large metropolitan area). The following relevant parameters were included in the analysis: (1) climatological deviations from the desired indoor temperature as...
Distance driven and economic activity in the individual U.S. States: 1997-2011.
During these times of heightened concern about energy and the environment, it is desirable to have relatively high economic activity per unit of driving. Thus, this study examined the current variations among the U.S. states and the District of Columbia in GDP per distance driven and the recent...
Will AC put a chill on the global energy supply?
The United States currently uses more energy for air- conditioning than all other countries combined—a sobering statistic from Stan Cox of the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. That distinction might not remain true for long, however. Several developing countries rank among both the most populous...
Making driving less energy intensive than flying
This report analyzes recent trends in the amount of energy needed to transport a person in the U.S. a given distance either in a light-duty vehicle or on a scheduled airline flight. After observing that the energy intensity of driving (BTU per person mile) is 57% greater than that of flying,...
Fuel and money saved using tires with low rolling resistance
This study was designed to examine how using tires that are at the current extremes of rolling resistance affects fuel consumption by light-duty vehicles in the U.S. The analysis was based on rolling-resistance measurements for 63 tire models that were obtained under uniform test conditions by...
Reducing truck fuel use and emissions: tires, aerodynamics, engine efficiency, and size and weight regulations
This report explores ways in which the properties of trucks and regulations governing them might be modified to improve freight efficiency and reduce fuel use and emissions in the challenging world of transportation economics and environmental stewardship. Trucks are the dominant mode of non-bulk...
Fuel-economy distributions of purchased new vehicles in the U.S. :  model years 2008 and 2014
We have recently shown that the average EPA-rated fuel economy of purchased, new, light-duty vehicles in the U.S. improved from 20.8 mpg for model year 2008 vehicles to 25.3 mpg for model year 2014 vehicles. This report provides information about the changes in the sales-weighted distributions of...
Energy intensities of flying and driving 
Last year, I issued a report comparing energy intensities of flying and driving from 1970 through 2010. The main finding of that study was that, while flying domestically in the U.S. used to be much more energy intensive than driving, that is no longer the case. Indeed, in 2010—the last year...

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