Spatial modeling of CA light- and heavy-duty vehicle travel and refueling patterns


Lew Fulton

Additional Researchers

Marshall Miller, Behdad Kiani, Postdoctoral Researcher 


During the last 3 years, the UCD team has conducted extensive research to identify changes in the LDV and truck infrastructure landscape in California, and projected the numbers and types of vehicles out to 2030 and beyond.  On the LDV side, we have estimated the demand for charging and H2 refueling based on the types and general locations of vehicles; and in particular assessed the need for different types of charging (home/work/public; level 1, 2 DC). On the truck side, we have assessed the locations of trucks at facilities and examined freight flows. We have also considered changes in overall demand after the 2008 economic crisis, the fast growth of e-commerce, and other regulatory interventions have prompted changes in the way companies are conducting business todays. The research and knowledge provide a unique opportunity to study the direct impacts of such factors in a most holistic, integrated way for CA. Fundamentally this is related to the spatial distribution of vehicle “homes”, their travel around the state and fuel demand. Refueling infrsastructure requirements and fuel flows can follow from this analysis.  


The study will start with two existing tools: the EV “toolbox” and the NG truck demand model, both of which are spatial. It will conduct a first order estimation of types of locations of refueling infrastructure, and how light- and heavy-duty vehicle infrastructure may or may not be co-located to advantage.  Concurrently, the study will update and enhance the capabilities of the team’s spatial and demand modeling tools to create a single tool to endogenously project the numbers of vehicles, travel patterns, and locations of refueling infrastructure. It could also be used to evaluate geo-fencing strategies, by incorporating emissions-sensitive area information into the model. Additional capabilities will be investigated such as looking at modal shift aspects, both on the passenger and freight side. 


The study will be conducted in cooperation with the Sustainable Freight Research center, who are proposing a similar project.