MAI Civil Engineering and Trinity Access Programme graduate publishes research on reducing transport carbon emissions

An electric vehicle being charged

26 Jan 2023

Trinity College Dublin's Centre for Transport Research, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, has released a new research paper that examines the potential impacts of fully electrifying taxi fleets in Dublin.

The lead researcher on the project, Trinity College Dublin MAI Civil Engineering graduate and Trinity Access Programme Alumna Laoise Kinsella, collaborated with Dr. Brian Caulfield and colleagues from the School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University, Stockholm; the Bryden Centre, Queens University Belfast, Belfast and the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, to conduct the study, titled "Pathways to decarbonising the transport sector: The impacts of electrifying taxi fleets."

The study used an emissions tool to model various scenarios of vehicle powertrain and fuel type configurations, and applied an emission factor to calculate the emissions produced by the electricity used to power the vehicles. The study found that fully electrifying the taxi fleet would result in a 77% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions. The research also used multi-criteria analysis to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each scenario developed.

The "S-5" scenario, which consisted of EVs only, scored the highest for many of the criteria, and was identified as the best option for the taxi fleet. The "S-4" scenario, involving an upgrade to all plug-in hybrid EVs, was also identified as a good alternative when EVs are too expensive or charging infrastructure is not available.

The study also found that the current infrastructure available in Dublin will not accommodate the all-EV taxis target by 2030. The findings of this research align with the goals of transportation services like FREE NOW, which have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030. Kinsella and Caulfield's research offers valuable insights into the potential benefits of fully electrifying taxi fleets and the infrastructure needed to support that transition.

Click here for the full research paper