Built environment effects on fuel consumption of driving to work: Insights from on-board diagnostics data of personal vehicles

Wanjing Zhu, Chuan Ding, Jason Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Concerns over climate change and peak oil motivate examining the relationship between the built environment (BE) and individual fuel consumption. Most studies overlook BE characteristics at workplace locations. They often estimate fuel use based on travel distance instead of on actual consumption. This practice ignores other influential mechanisms. This study uses the naturalistic driving data of 660 personal vehicles in Beijing. We apply a structural equations model to examine multiple mechanisms under which the residential and workplace BE affects fuel consumption directly and indirectly through driving distance, travel speed, and driver behavior, controlling for the effect of the street environment along the commute route. We found that all three mediating variables are associated with vehicular fuel consumption for the commute. The workplace BE has the more important effect on fuel consumption than the residential BE, particularly regarding the distance from the workplace to the city center. This study highlights the role of job-housing balance in commuting fuel consumption reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-575
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Volume67
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( U1564212 , U1764265 , and 61773040 ), and Young Elite Scientist Sponsorship Program by the China Association for Science and Technology ( 2017QNRC001 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Carbon emissions
  • Fuel use
  • Job-housing balance
  • Land use
  • Naturalistic driving

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