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E-bikes, E-Cars, Carshare, Bikeshare, and Micro-EVs in China have shaken up the traditional motorization pathways that have occurred in developing countries in the past. The combination of emerging vehicle technologies, urban and environmental constraints, and heavy-handed policy make China's motorization processes unique in the world—but how China motorizes has far-reaching impacts based on sheer volume of vehicles and population.

This seminar discusses the results of a six-year NSF CAREER project to explore China's motorization processes, combining behavioral and environmental modeling approaches to assess the impacts of emerging vehicle technologies on motorization and ultimately environmental sustainability. The focus is mostly on emerging lightweight EVs that have surprisingly surpassed all other modes of personal mobility in annual sales and hold great promise across different shared and personal vehicle technologies.

Biographical Information

Dr. Chris Cherry is an associate professor at the University of Tennessee. He received his B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from the University of Arizona and received his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007. His research focuses on sustainable transportation, including aspects of transportation safety, economics and the environment. About half of his research work is focused on the rapid motorization of Asia, with research projects in China. His NSF CAREER award focused on the sustainability of China's behavioral response to new transportation technologies. His domestic research agenda includes evaluating safety and system performance of non-motorized travel and transit systems, as well as commercial vehicles. He also focuses on behavioral modeling and impacts of alternative transportation technologies and fuels. He leads the Light Electric Vehicle Education and Research (LEVER) Initiative, a consortium of universities and industry partners to explore the role of emerging and potentially disruptive classes of electric vehicles on transportation, sustainability and health.


Urban transportation policy -- China, Urban transportation -- Environmental aspects -- China, Transportation --China-- Planning -- Technological innovations


Transportation | Transportation Engineering | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning

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China's Motorization Wave and the Place of Emerging Technologies



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