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zeroCUTS: zero Carbon Urban Transport System

Research in this DFG funded joint project, also called Analyzing Strategies to Decarbonize Urban Transport, analyzes potentials and impacts of various strategies to resolve urban transportation systems dependency on carbon based fuel. The main focus is on battery powered vehicles; alternative solutions such as hydrogen powered solutions will be considered within performed sensitivity studies.

In cooperation with Prof. Dr. Kai Nagel’s chair for Transport Systems Planning and Transport Telematics (VSP), a quantification of ecologic as well as economic impacts will be developed for different electrification strategies in urban areas and tested with a comprehensive agent based transport simulation MATsim.

MATsim plays a key role for in methodology; it generically models the current mobility demand for the region Berlin-Brandenburg and segregates private, public, freight, commercial and service transport. Within a scenario, it simulates the demand for mobility over the hours of the day making simulation data for any time of the day accessible. Using this data, the number of vehicles and routes can be extracted and validated using real world traffic counts.


Using this data, we can develop alternative strategies that match Berlin’s mobility demand; while simultaneously improving its ecological footprint. To achieve this, we develop concept vehicles, simulating their energy demand for a MATsim scenario and including a charging strategy for electric vehicles. Those concept vehicles can then be imported into MATsim, having them feed Berlin’s demand for mobility, replacing carbon fuel driven vehicles.

Vehicle counts, covered distance and impact on transportation durations with the new underlying vehicle and operational strategy can then be extracted and economically (total cost of ownership analysis) as well as ecologically (life cycle assessment analysis) rated. Using current real world data, alternative scenarios can be cross referenced to quantify the impact of the respective scenario.

With this, we try to answer the following research questions:

  • What’s the impact in terms of ecological footprint and costs, if we simply replace fossil fuel vehicles with battery ones?
  • Which charging strategies can be used, which infrastructure is required and at how much does it cost?

  • Is it possible to replace individual person’s cars using electric and autonomous shuttle vehicles and what are the resulting changes in terms of

    • Duration of transport,
    • Cost of Transport,
    • Comfort,
    • Environmental impact of the overall system and for each route?

  • How should a suitable shuttle vehicle be designed?
  • How can we optimize freight transports in urban areas in terms of their environmental impact?

This project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under project number 398051144 (https://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/398051144).

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Anne Syré
+49 30 314 73599
Room H 4120


Alexander Grahle
+49 30 314 73600
Room H 4120