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Transport & Environment
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Transport & Environment


The Department of Transport and Environment focuses on analysis of energy consumption and emissions of motorized transport systems as well as assessment of measures and strategies for reduction of transport-related environmental impacts. To this end, we carry out expertises commissioned by federal and state authorities, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and industry. In addition, we participate in various national and international expert panels.

For our main topics please have a look at the pane on the right.






Udo Lambrecht (+49 6221/ 4767-35;

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News from the department

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Renewbility - Decarbonising Transport


10.11.2016 ifeu presented the results of the research study Renewbility in Berlin together with its partners – Öko-Institut, DLR und INFRAS – and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

In order to reach the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, the transport sector in Germany has to be decarbonised by 2050. The main strategies are a maximum increase in vehicle efficiency and a complete shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies. This can be achieved cost-effectively if cities, in particular, adopt new vehicle concepts such as electric cars and if they boost efficient public transport. With these strategies, the transport sector in Germany could be free of climate emissions by 2050, and moreover, an increased quality of life in urban areas would result.

In the project Renewbility, ifeu focused on pre-chain emissions of vehicles. This included the emissions during vehicle production and fuel supply. Additionally, the future material demand for vehicle fleets was assessed. The website provides the results of the project (in German).




Life Cycle Environmental and Resource Assessment of Electric Vehicles


Graphik30.03.2016 The ifeu study „Advancement and Deeper Analysis of Electric Vehicles Life Cycle Assessment (in German)" on behalf of the Federal Environment Ministry is available by now. The study investigates the environmental impact of electric vehicles through the entire life cycle (“from gradle to grave”) and compares the impact with results of conventionally propelled vehicles. A variety of factors such as climate zone, driving profile, charging behavior and electrical utility factor are taken into account. In particular materials used in battery manufacturing were evaluated and new approaches were developed to assess resource usage.

Scenarios address possible future changes for 2030. According to those scenarios electric vehicel environmental benefits will increase over the next years (especially by expansion of renewable energies) and disadvantages will decrease (through better specific battery characteristics and reinforced recycling also because of economic reasons). Preconditions are a more consistent energy industry transformation as well as incentives for a resource-efficient product design and an encompassing waste disposal and recycling industry.

Study Download (in German - UBA Texte 27/2016, pdf 5 MB)




GHG Mitigation Potentials of fuel-saving Truck Tyres in Europe and China


12.01.2016 Truck transport is increasing worldwide contributing substantially to GHG emissions. Use of truck tyres with low rolling resistance can reduce GHG emissions of truck transport considerably. In the GIZ project ‘Transfer of Climate Friendly Technologies and Measures’ (TRANSfer), ifeu has analysed GHG savings potentials of efficient tyres in both, the EU and China, and has recently published two studies to support further development of low rolling resistance tyre regulations in China.

Furthermore, a monitoring methodology for GHG and non-GHG impacts of legislative regulations on characteristics of truck tyres has been developed, illustrated with experiences in the EU. This “MRV blueprint” is aimed to support the development of suitable methods for evaluating mitigation success (MRV - Measurement, Reporting and Verification) of transport related GHG mitigation measures under the NAMA framework (NAMA - Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action).

Studie “GHG Mitigation Potential of European Rolling Resistance Labelling and Phase-out Scheme for Heavy-Duty Truck Tyres”

Studie “GHG Mitigation Potential of a Green Tyre Programme for Road Freight in China”

“Monitoring emission savings from low rolling resistance tire labelling and phase-out schemes - MRV Blueprint based on an example from the European Union”,
Study and Presentation




Sino German Exchange on Emission Modeling and Measures in Transport





09.12.2015 Beijing: Emissions from transport are a major source of local air pollution and increasingly also for greenhouse gas emissions in China. ifeu experts carried out several workshops with different Chinese institutions about measures in transport and their mitigation effects. The GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) commissioned and coordinated the workshops within the context of the „Sino-German Environmental Partnership“ by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB).

The main focus was the exchange of methods for emission quantification and analysis of measures in scenarios. Hinrich Helms and Christoph Heidt presented the models TREMOD und TREMOD-MM (for mobile machinery) which were developed by ifeu. Further workshops aimed at the discussion of strategies to reach climate targets and an energy transition (Energiewende) in transport in Germany and the potential of electric busses in urban transport.

Further information on TREMOD and TREMOD-MM

Quelle: TPRI (Transport Planing and Research Institute)

(click to enlarge photo)




Shifting Potential and Climate Effects caused by Pedelec use Patterns





Cover Studie29.10.2015 „Pedelecs have great potential to substitute car trips. This accounts especially for commuting trips up to 10 kilometers. Also for other common daily trips the pedelec had been the preferred vehicle choice instead of the former chosen car." These are the main findings of the recently conducted research project PEDELECTION.

The project had been funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. It was aimed to analyze shifting effects between the different vehicles types caused by pedelec use patterns. In cooperation with the Institut for Transportation Design (ITD, University of Braunschweig) ifeu investigated daily mobility use patterns in a field test. Additionally, an environmental assessment based on collected mobility data compares the climate effects before and after the test persons were introduced to pedelecs. Following the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach for different vehicles, further environmental effects caused by production, disposal and upstream emissions of the use phase could be considered.

The achieved results are a good starting point to develop incentives for a stronger integration of pedelecs into general mobility patterns and commuting patterns in particular.

PEDELECTION - Shifting Potential and Climate Effects caused by Pedelec use Patterns - Final Report (in German, pdf 11.5 MB)

More information… (Website ITD)

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Concept Energy Transition across Sectors developed





Cover Report13.10.2015 “To achieve climate protection goals in the most economical and cost-efficient manner, wind and solar energy ought to be developed into the most important primary energy sources across all sectors, including heat supply and mobility", researchers of two Fraunhofer Institutes, the ifeu Heidelberg and the Umweltenergierecht Foundation recently concluded. The three-year research project “Interactions of RE electricity, heating and transport” is based on a resolution of the German Bundestag and was funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

The study infers “optimal structural development pathways for the heating and transport sectors". According to the authors during the presentation of results, “heat pumps and power-to-heat both in local and district heating systems, battery-electric vehicles and catenary trucks provide examples for future key technologies for the integration of the energy sectors electricity, heating and transport. This integration is associated with economic benefits and opens up a range of flexibility options for the maintenance of a reliable and safe energy supply.”

Interactions of RE Eletricity, Heating and Transport
Final Report (pdf 5,7 MB)
+ Short Version (pdf 924 KB) (in German)

More information… (in German)

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Transparent Information on Fuel Consumption urgently required for Electric Vehicles as well





Logo29.09.2015 User-specific and accurate fuel consumption data may actually be more important for electric vehicles than for conventional combustion engines. The official data from type-approval tests presented in advertising materials and sales brochures provide little information on the actual situation under real-world conditions. Moreover, individual user behaviour strongly influences the energy consumption of dedicated battery-electric passenger cars and hybrid-systems with combustion engines, so-called plug-in hybrids.

To provide a realistic assessment of potential savings associated with a switch to electric vehicles, ifeu is currently developing the web application ‘My eDrive’ in collaboration with the German Automobile Association ADAC. My eDrive will allow interested drivers of conventional cars a free virtual test drive of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. A smart phone app initially monitors and records the driving habits of the driver in his current vehicle. Based on these real-world data, costs, environmental impacts and mileage of current electric vehicle options are calculated.

We intend to test My eDrive in a trial period shortly and we would like to invite you to participate. Application materials and additional information may be found here ...




Increasing Divergence between Type Approval and real-world Fuel Consumption of Passenger Cars





Cover28.09.2015 It has been widely known for a number of years that both the fuel consumption of passenger cars and the associated greenhouse gas emissions are considerably higher on the road than under the type-approval test conditions reported in sales brochures. According to a recent analysis of the fuel consumption of approx. 600,000 vehicles registered in the EU between 2001 to 2014, carried out by the ICCT in collaboration with ifeu Heidelberg and TNO, the discrepancy between test results and real-world conditions has increased from about 8 % in 2001 to a present average of 40 %.

This finding indicates that our national climate goals are in serious jeopardy. Moreover, the loss in vehicle tax revenue amounts to hundreds of millions of Euro. The discrepancy between car manufacturer data and real-world conditions also puts the consumer at a disadvantage. On average, an additional annual investment of 450 € per user is required to bridge the gap between reported and actual fuel consumption. Reasons for the divergence between official data and real-world conditions may be found in the exploitation of loopholes in the type-approval process by car manufacturers and the omission of auxiliary consumers. To rectify the situation, a realistic new test procedure and the introduction of post-hoc tests are required.

Additional information and the study „From Laboratory to Road (icct-Website) may be found here... (Click to enlarge cover)




Technological GHG reduction potentials of heavy-duty vehicles and related costs!


Cover Page20.04.2015 Heavy-duty vehicles account for about a quarter of the GHG emissions in road transport at present. Current projections expect substantial increases of HDV transport in the future. Therefore, compliance with climate change mitigation goals and the minimisation of final energy consumption require a substantial reduction of the fuel consumption associated with heavy-duty vehicles.
ifeu Heidelberg in cooperation with Graz University of Technology have analysed fuel savings and GHG reduction potentials of technological measures (e.g. powertrain, aerodynamics, rolling resistance) using VECTO the designated simulation-based approach for the standardised quantification of CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles in Europe.
Based on fuel savings of each measure and related changes of vehicle costs (investment and fuel costs), payback periods as well as specific GHG abatement costs have been estimated for the single technologies and for technology packages.

Download of the study (in German) and English summary...





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