Research Rest-Stop │ Evaluating Vehicle Fuel & Electricity

Every Wednesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) highlights some interesting research related to or innovations in transportation, sustainability, or energy.

Today, we discuss a recent analysis on energy and government actions prepared by the United States Department of Energy. This self-assessment is the first of the Department’s quadrennial reviews.

This report looks at how the federal government should make further investments in transportation energy, especially as solar and wind power do not significantly impact this sector. It notes that “reliance on oil is the greatest immediate threat to U.S. economic and national security, and also contributes to the long-term threat of climate change.”

The report argues that, in the coming years, finding a replacement for oil will be a priority. In working to meet this objective, it proposes focusing research on electric vehicles rather than alternative fuels like natural gas. The report also emphasizes the need to replace oil first rather than fuels like coal and natural gas, which have the potential to be supplemented by electricity-generating solar and wind power. Oil is not traditionally used to generate electricity in the United States.

The goal going forward is to use this generated electricity for hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and pure electric vehicles. By using alternative fuels to generate electricity, the report argues, dependency on oil will be reduced.

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