Researchers Estimate that Advanced Vehicle Technology Penetration will Reduce Light-Duty Vehicle Fuel Consumption in the Greater Detroit Area by 20-50 Percent by 2040.
Study led by Argonne National Lab Used Transportation System and Vehicle Powertrain Modeling to Characterize the Fleet-Wide Energy Impact of Advanced Powertrain Technologies in Southeast Michigan over a 30-year period.
Date Posted

Impact of Advanced Vehicle Technologies on Energy Consumption for the City of Detroit Using Transportation System Simulations

Summary Information

This modeling study characterized the fleet-wide impact of advanced vehicle powertrain technology penetration on present-day (2010) and future (2040) fleets in the greater Detroit area. Argonne National Laboratory collaborated with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and Detroit Department of Transportation to develop and validate an energy-focused transportation system model for Southeast Michigan. The objective of the study was to analyze the vehicle energy consumption in the Detroit transportation system model by evaluating energy use over SEMCOG road network drive cycles for current and future vehicle technologies. Population, vehicle synthesis, activity demand generation and traffic flow are modeled in the transportation system using the Polaris modeling tool. The model generated traffic flows for each road link for different vehicles; the flows are subsequently used to generate vehicle trip profiles. The vehicle trip profile was used as the drive cycle input for the vehicle system modeling tool Autonomie, and subsequent simulations evaluated the energy use of different classes of light-duty vehicle over the drive cycle. Market penetration models were used to select the advanced vehicle powertrain models for future years, with component and vehicle assumptions being derived from the U.S. Department of Energy targets for the years considered.


A deterministic modeling approach was used to evaluate energy usage over the stochastically-generated vehicle drive cycle for the following powertrain types in 2010 and 2040:

  • Conventional Gasoline
  • Power-split Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

While the model considers fuel-cell hybrids (FCHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), the results were presented for a subset measured by consumption of gasoline in liters (L) per 100 km for simplicity. Given the large number of randomly-assigned trips from the transportation system model, the results were evaluated with an inferential statistical method to evaluate both the significance of the difference and the variability amongst samples.


The study characterized baseline fuel consumption for the following conventional gasoline light-duty vehicle classes in 2010:

  • Compact: 5.12 – 6 L/100 km
  • Midsize: 7.7 – 8.33 L/100 km
  • Midsize SUV: 7.41 – 8.55 L/100 km
  • Midsize Truck (Pickup): 8.7 – 10.3 L/100 km

Fuel consumption improvements for compact class vehicles from advanced technologies were determined to be 25-39 percent for HEVs and 38-75 percent for PHEVs.

2040 modeling results for conventional gasoline vehicles showed:

  • Compact/Midsize: 3.33 – 5.6 L/100 km
  • Midsize SUV: 5.56 – 6.7 L/100 km
  • Midsize Truck (Pickup): 7 – 10 L/100 km

Accompanying improvements in advanced powertrain yielded the following improvements for compact vehicles: 47-60 percent for HEVs; 68-85 percent for PHEVs.

Depending on the class of vehicle, technology deployed, and driving distance, the researchers estimate a 20-50 percent reduction in fleet-wide fuel consumption from advanced vehicle technology penetration. The relative benefits of advanced vehicle technology utilization by vehicle class analyzed were ranked as follows:

  1. Midsize SUV (greatest benefit from technology utilization)
  2. Midsize Car
  3. Compact Car / Compact Wagon
  4. Midsize Truck (Pickup)

Impact of Advanced Vehicle Technologies on Energy Consumption for the City of Detroit Using Transportation System Simulations

Impact of Advanced Vehicle Technologies on Energy Consumption for the City of Detroit Using Transportation System Simulations
Source Publication Date
Islam, Ehsan; Moawad, Ayman; Auld, Joshua; Karbowski, Dominik A.; Rousseau, Aymeric
2017 IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference (VPPC)
Results Type
Deployment Locations