The EasyConnect Low-Speed Modes Linked to Transit Planning Project represents the integration of innovative strategies to enhance transit use during the development and construction of a suburban transit oriented development at the Pleasant Hill Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District station in the East San Francisco Bay Area. This planning project brings together a unique partnership including small technology businesses, transportation agencies, city and county government, and academia.
Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) include state-of-the-art wireless, electronic, and automated technologies. Collectively, these technologies have the potential to integrate vehicles (transit, trucks, and personal vehicles), system users, and infrastructure (roads and transit). Although ITS technologies are still in the early phase of deployment, many have shown the potential to reduce energy use.
We report on the real-world use over the course of one year of a nickel-metal-hydride plug-in hybrid—the Toyota Plug-In HV—by a set of 12 northern California households able to charge at home and work. From vehicle use data, energy and greenhouse-emissions implications are also explored. A total of 1557 trips—most using under 0.5 gallons of gasoline—ranged up to 2.4 hours and 133 miles and averaged 14 minutes and 7 miles. 399 charging events averaged 2.6 hours. The maximum lasted 4.6 hours.
Advances in electric drive technology, including lithium ion batteries as well as the development of strong policy drivers such as California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, now contribute to a more promising market environment for the widespread introduction of plug-in vehicles in California. Nevertheless, battery costs remain high. This study explores a strategy for overcoming the significant hurdle to electric transportation fuel use presented by high battery costs.