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Transport & Environment
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Transport & Environment




IFEU and "Transport & Environment"


"Transport & Environment" is an important field of work within IFEU already since 1982. Key activities are the analysis of energy consumption and emissions of all motorised transportation systems as well as the development and evaluation of measures and strategies to reduce traffic induced environmental impacts.

Evaluations and expertises on these topics have been commissioned or supported by federal, state and local authorities, industry, associations and political parties as well as the European Union and the World Bank. An important additional part of our activity is the consultancy for industry and non-profit organisations as wells as the participation of IFEU-scientists in several boards on a national and international level.

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Key activities


The broad array of studies and reports covers the following subject areas:

Inventories, Basic Data and Scenarios of the complete Transport Sector (Germany [TREMOD], German federal states, other countries, local authorities)

Comparison of Transport Systems - analysis and evaluation (long and short distance passenger transport, freight transport, national and international)

Vehicle Concepts - different drive trains and energy carriers (gasoline, diesel, gas, electric, fuel cell vehicles as well as the use of biofuels)

Air Quality - causes and measures (emissions of carcinogenic substances, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, nitrogen dioxides ) as well as resulting impacts on air quality, compliance with targets and indicators

Climate and Ressources - concepts and strategies (from technical changes via speed limits to changes in modal split, climate change concepts, flexible mechanisms)

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News from the department




Empowerment of migrants for climate protection (EMIGMA)


Grafik Transdisziplinärer Ansatz 30.09.2013 IFEU The attitudes, environmental awareness and the related greenhouse gas emissions of Germans with a migrant background were investigated in a BMBF-funded research project carried out by the IFEU in collaboration with the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Prof. Hunecke, Prof. Toprak).

Central finding of the transdisciplinary project: Germans without a migrant background are more environmentally aware compared to those with migrant roots. However, the lifestyle choices of non-immigrant Germans on average place a greater burden on the climate. An important reason for this is the more frequent use of a car.

For further results, including findings on the level of involvement in environmental or migrant organisations of the groups of people under investigation, please see the related press release (Website FH Dortmund, available in German only).







Reduction of environmental burden by
plug-in hybrids -
results of "TwinDrive"
fleet test


Bild Elektroauto19.07.2013 Future market projections suggest a great potential for plug-in hybrids. These vehicles feature a combustion as well as an electric drive system and the battery can be charged externally at a conventional power outlet. But what are the real-life environmental advantages of plug-in hybrids in comparison to conventional car concepts?

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is funding different research projects dealing wit electric mobility as part of their focus area "Elektromobilität". The plug-in hybrid concept "TwinDrive", as one of the funded projects, was developed by Volkswagen during 2008 -2012 and tested with 20 vehicles. IFEU conducted the environmental accompanying research from a “cradle to grave” point of view. Thereby a significant potential for reduction of environmental burden by plug-in hybrids was discovered. Furthermore, it was observed that usage patterns have a considerable influence on the environmental performance of plug-in hybrid vehicles. This accounts particularly to the variable share of miles driven in electric mode. The marginal electricity mix used for charging the vehicles constitutes another influential parameter and depends heavily on the use of load balancing and intelligent charging schemes. The results of the fleet test and policy recommendations are now available in the final report (only German).

Download of the final report (in German, pdf 2,6 MB)

More information on the project...




Pedelec - Field Test: Participants Wanted!


08.02.2013 Electric two-wheelers in the fast lane: While the number of electric cars is growing only slowly, e-bikes (pedelec: pedal electric cycle) are enjoying a rising acceptance and are already common sights in our streets. 400.000 pedelecs have been sold in Germany alone during the last year. Therefore, the spectrum of two-wheeler concepts and potential mobility patterns has been significantly broadened, which also leads to new questions for mobility research. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment funds the project "Pedelection" which is conducted by the Institute for Transportation Design (University of Fine Arts Braunschweig) and IFEU. The research objective is to analyse potential modal shifts and associated environmental impacts.

Are you already owner of a pedelec or are you planning to purchase one in the near future? Are you interested in researching a new and exciting mobility phenomenon? If so, you are welcome to participate in our Pedelection research team. You will find all the relevant information here.




Environmental balances for electric mobility: interactive environment calculator is now online!


01.02.2012 Electric vehicles can provide an important contribution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector if electricity from renewable sources is used. In the UMBReLA project, with funding from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), IFEU provided the environmental assessment of BMU funded R&D projects regarding electric mobility in Germany over the last three years. The environmental performance of electric and conventionally fueled cars was compared over their entire life cycle. The results of the research are available now:

As an interactive environmental calculation (in German) where you one compare different types of vehicle concepts according to specific personal circumstances

Facts and figures on the UMBReLA project and to electric vehicles can be found on our homepage (in German)

Download of the comprehensive summary report as well as the in-depth scientific report
(in German)

Press release of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety on the UMBReLA project



EMIGMA - Empowerment of migrants on climate change




07.01.2011 The BMBF-funded three-year project EMIGMA has the objective of the environmental behavior and the environmental attitudes of Turkish and Russian-speaking immigrants and their commitment to explore to strengthen the climate. The project will be implemented/conducted by Fachhochschule Dortmund, University of Applied Sciences and Arts, (management: Prof. Dr. Marcel Hunecke and Prof. Dr. Ahment Toprak) together with IFEU. In addition to an inventory of climate-related knowledge, various approaches to activation of the civil engagement of immigrants for the climate and identify exemplary actions and projects with local relevance in the three selected fields of mobility, housing and nutrition and evaluated to be generated. Ultimately, the project recommendations lead to more climate protection in daily behavior to anchor of migrants. The CO2-Calculator which was developed by IFEU will be applied in this project.

More information ... (Emigma-Website)


EcoTransIT World for worldwide transports


31.05.2010 The Ecological Transport Information Tool (EcoTransIT) calculates environmental impacts of any freight transport. Thereby it is possible to determine the energy consumption, CO2 and exhaust emissions transported by rail, road, ship and aircraft in any combination. - The new version which exists since end of May was commissioned by UIC (worldwide organisation of cooperation for railway companies), DB Schenker Rail Deutschland AG and some other European Railway Companies. The scientific support was again given by IFEU und for the first time by Öko-Institut concerning aviation and maritime shipping.

More information ...



Comparative Environmental Assessment of Coaches


12.04.2010 Coach buses are not generally known to be environmentally friendly, though they have the advantage of being a sector of public transport with high occupancy rates and often efficient vehicles. However, most coach buses have diesel engines which emit nitrogen oxides and particles. Already in 2004 IFEU has compared coaches with passenger cars, trains and aircraft for the International Coach Tourism Federation (RDA): The analysis showed a good environmental performance of coaches. Now an updated version of this"'comparative environmental assessment of coaches" ("Vergleichende Umweltbilanz des Reisebusses") is available which takes into account the improved fuel consumption and emission behaviour of the different transport modes.

Download (via RDA-Website)



Transport and Air Pollution


photo H.Helms, F.Duennebeil24.06.09 09 “Agricultural tractors and construction machinery contribute significantly to particle and NOx emissions in Germany” said Hinrich Helms at the 2009 ‘Transport and Air Pollution Symposium’ in Toulouse. But EU emission legislation is already beginning to show some effect. Based on the calculation model TREMOD-MM, which has been developed for the German Federal Environment Agency, he also illustrated that emissions are expected to further decline in the future.
As in previous years, IFEU scientists presented recent research results at the international „Transport and Air Pollution Symposium” (together with the „Environment and Transport Symposium“). His colleague Frank Dünnebeil (right) presented results on the effectiveness of traffic measures for a reduction of NO2 concentrations in the Tyrolean Inn Valley. He also gave an overview on energy consumption and CO2 emissions of traffic in Shanghai.

Presentation on mobile machinery (pdf, 762 KB)

More information on NO2

More information on transport in China





National Conference on Strategies for “Electric Mobility“


26.11.2008 The National Conference on Strategies for „Electric Mobility“ on November 25th and 26th 2008 in Berlin tried to answer the question, in which fields the German government could get actively involved to support the development of a sustainable electric mobility in road transport. A workshop on the necessary framework conditions for a sustainable electric mobility was chaired by IFEU executive Dr. Ulrich Höpfner who also presented the results of the session to the plenum.
More information ... (Website, in German)





Eco-Inventory of Transport Options with Internet Tools


02.07.2008 The international association for railways (UIC) and the European Environment Agency (EEA) launch the EcoPassenger and EcoTransIT (new version) internet tools to calculate and compare the energy consumption and emissions of different transport modes in Europe. The scientific methodology for the calculations was developed in cooperation with IFEU.
More information on EcoPassenger
More information on EcoTransIT

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Contact person for "Transport & Environment" is Udo Lambrecht
(+49 6221/ 4767-35;

 Printer friendly  Tell a friend Last updated: 01 Apr 2015


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Electric Mobility

Nitrogen Dioxide

Mobile Machinery
References (German)