Cost, Energy, and Environmental Impact of Automated Electric Taxi Fleets in Manhattan
Shared automated electric vehicles (SAEVs) hold great promise for improving transportation access in urban centers while drastically reducing transportation-related energy consumption and air pollution. Using taxi-trip data from New York City, we develop an agent-based model to predict the battery range and charging infrastructure requirements of a fleet of SAEVs operating on Manhattan Island. We also develop a model to estimate the cost and environmental impact of providing service and perform extensive sensitivity analysis to test the robustness of our predictions. We estimate that costs will be lowest with a battery range of 50–90 mi, with either 66 chargers per square mile, rated at 11 kW or 44 chargers per square mile, rated at 22 kW. We estimate that the cost of service provided by such an SAEV fleet will 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). We estimate 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.