Sustainable transport and mobility

Image 1 of 2
Graphs representing individual mobility.
Flight from Göteborg to Phuket = 2353 kg greenhouse gas emissions
Individual mobility. Distinct networks of visited locations of individuals from different behavioural groups.

We identify societal challenges in the transport systems toward sustainable futures and analyses options for sustainable transport, including alternative fuels, electric and autonomous technology, and innovative mobility solutions.

We focus on sustainability challenges such as climate change and energy consumption while taking into account other factors such as economic, political, technical and behavioral aspects. The group is multidisciplinary and has a history of working closely with industry partners, a broad range of stakeholder groups and academics. The research methods the group utilises are both qualitative and quantitative, including system modeling tools such as optimization, simulation, and agent-based modeling; mixed method approaches such as econometrics combined with interviews; surveys, big data analytics, lifecycle analysis, etc.

The group is actively engaging in the follo​wing research areas:

System modeling of transport futures​

The transport system needs to change if we are going to solve the challenges of reducing greenhouse gases emissions and its dependence on fossil resources. We use system models to capture, analyze and understand the critical relationships of the transport sector and its linkages to the entire energy system, and its impact on the environment. For example, we analyse the consequences of major trends such as an increased electrification, automation, and vehicle sharing on the overall energy system. We also study the design of policy measures in order to analyze the (cost) effectiveness of various policies and the potential negative side effects. This research is interdisciplinary involving theories and methods from economics, engineering, and environmental systems analysis.

Personal mobilit​y

This research focuses on the user perspective of mobility demand and options. Through interdisciplinary studies we assess new mobility options such as electric vehicles, shared mobility and the introduction of autonomous vehicles. We analyse aspects such as demand changes, environmental performance, economic viability and user acceptance. Our methods range from econometrics, optimization, and statistical analysis to surveys, interviews and logging of vehicle movements.

Long d​istance travel

For many high-income countries, the climate impact from long distance travel is as large as from the daily short distance travel. Our research includes methodologies for measuring GHG emissions from air travel. We are also interested in understanding how a future transport system for long distance travel in line with the climate target could look like, e.g. the potential for night trains, biofuels, digital meetings and alternative vacationing habits. Another research focus is policy analyses, e.g. regarding the public acceptance for various policy instruments.

Big data in​ transport

This research is organized around two big ideas: 1) explore the potential expressive analysis of the continuous and large amounts of information sensed in today’s digital environments can boost the understanding of human mobility patterns; 2) enhance access data and knowledge to citizens, stakeholders and researchers to improve their ability to utilize live information that will help achieve social, economic and environmental sustainability in the future transportation. By joining expertise from different disciplines (transport, machine learning, artificial intelligence, computer science and complex systems) and leveraging big data and state-of-the-art analytics, this research aims to significantly advance state-of-the-art mobility applications. This research has broad implications for many disciplines including public health, energy, complex systems and urban planning.

Senior researchers

Key publications

Johannes Morfeldt, Simon Davidsson Kurland, Daniel J.A. Johansson, Carbon footprint impacts of banning cars with internal combustion engines, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Volume 95, 2021, 102807, ISSN 1361-9209,

 Schäfer, A.W., Yeh, S. A holistic analysis of passenger travel energy and greenhouse gas intensities. Nat Sustain (2020).

 Liao, Y., & Gil, J., Pereira, R.H.M., Yeh, S., Verendel, V. Disparities in travel times between car and transit: Spatiotemporal patterns in cities. Scientific Report (2020) 10 (1), 1-12.

Jörgen Larsson, Anna Elofsson, Thomas Sterner & Jonas Åkerman (2019) International and national climate policies for aviation: a review, Climate Policy, 19:6, 787-799, DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2018.1562871

Yeh, S., Shankar Mishra, G., Fulton, L., Kyle, P., McCollum, D., Miller, J., Cazzola, P. Detailed assessment of international transport-energy models’ structures and projections. Transportation Research Part D: Special Issue on global transport projections for integrated assessment (2017) 55: 294-309. DOI:

Sprei, F. "Disrupting mobility." Energy Research & Social Science 37 (2018): 238-242.

Münzel, Christiane, Patrick Plötz, Frances Sprei, and Till Gnann. "How large is the effect of financial incentives on electric vehicle sales?–A global review and European analysis." Energy Economics 84 (2019): 104493.