Urban Traveler - Changes and Impacts: Mobility Energy Productivity (MEP) Metric

Research output: NRELPresentation


For nearly a century, the automobile has been the primary mode of personal transportation in American life. This remains true today as millions of people rely heavily on cars to connect suburbs with cities or to travel long distances—often out of routine or convenience. However, advances in technology are fueling an era of transportation transformation, with the potential to transform a system that has remained virtually unchanged for decades. Aspiring smart cities are wrestling with questions such as: How does mobility impact a person’s quality of life? Would people make different travel choices if they were presented with better information about their mobility options? The ability to quantify the mobility potential of a given location is the first step toward answering these questions. In response, an interdisciplinary team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed the Mobility-Energy Productivity (MEP) metric. The MEP metric provides an avenue to not only measure the mobility potential at a specific location in its current configuration, but also to test how various technological advances (e.g., connected and automated vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles, shared mobility) and infrastructure investments (e.g., building an additional highway lane, constructing a new shopping mall, implementing a transit-oriented development) impact the mobility of that location over time. This presentation details the FY19 progress on the MEP metric project funded through DOE VTO's SMART Mobility Consortium.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages33
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2020 Vehicle Technologies Office Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting, 1-4 June 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5400-76572


  • accessibility
  • energy productivity
  • mobility
  • mobility potential
  • travel efficiency


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