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Berkeley study finds self-driving electric taxi fleets in Manhattan would deliver significant cost/environmental benefit

Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:58 pm

Via GCC:

. . . Using models they built and data from more than 10 million taxi trips in New York City, they found that the cost of service provided by a fleet of shared automated electric vehicles (SAEVs) would be $0.29-$0.61 per revenue mile—an order of magnitude lower than the cost of service of present-day Manhattan taxis and $0.05–$0.08/mi lower than that of an automated fleet composed of any currently available hybrid or internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV).

They estimated that SAEV costs would be lowest with a battery range of 50–90 miles, with either 66 chargers per square mile, rated at 11 kW or 44 chargers per square mile, rated at 22 kW. This finding highlights that currently available EV ranges would more than suffice, and that significant cost savings could result from reducing battery range from current levels. . . .

They further estimated that such an SAEV fleet drawing power from the current NYC power grid would reduce GHG emissions by 73% and energy consumption by 58% compared to an automated fleet of ICEVs. Their study is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

The researchers developed an agent-based model to simulate the movement of 7,000 taxis around Manhattan throughout the day. They also built models to analyze the cost of service and optimal placement of vehicle chargers.

To put that density into perspective, Manhattan currently has about 500 chargers for public use, including Tesla chargers, said corresponding author Gordon Bauer of UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group. “We found that we would need to at least triple that capacity,” Bauer said.

Greenblatt pointed out that there are still many barriers to the wider penetration of personal EV ownership, including high cost and limited range. However, by switching to a shared fleet that’s automated, electric service can be provided to people essentially now, he said.

He noted that shared vehicles are best suited for dense, urban environments. . . .
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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