Sustainable transportation refers to low- and zero-emission, energy-efficient, and affordable modes of transport, including electric and alternative-fuel vehicles, as well as domestic fuels.
The benefits of sustainable transportation in the United States include:
- Cost savings on fuel and vehicles
- Reduced carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, resulting in less air pollution
- Job creation with increased vehicle and battery manufacturing and fuel production
- Improved accessibility to reliable, affordable transportation options for all Americans
- Enhanced energy security and independence with less reliance on foreign sources of materials and fuels.
Advancing Sustainable Transportation in the United States
Funding allocated through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law enables the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) to support sustainable transportation and freight shipping infrastructure, including vehicle charging capabilities, urban and community design, and roads and bridges.
Further, the EERE Vehicle Technologies Office’s research on energy efficient mobility systems focuses on optimizing the overall transportation system to improve the affordability, efficiency, safety, and accessibility of transportation.
EERE also partners with other agencies to advance sustainable transportation efforts. Learn about the U.S. National Blueprint for Decarbonizing Transportation, a landmark strategy to remove all greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by 2050 developed in partnership with the departments of Energy, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency.
Sustainable Transportation Research and Development
Three EERE offices support R&D to increase access to domestic, clean transportation fuels and improve the energy efficiency, convenience, and affordability of transporting people and goods:
Types of Sustainable Vehicles
Fuel-efficient vehicles require less fuel to operate compared with older vehicles. They save fuel costs and emit fewer greenhouse gases. Save money on gas with Energy Saver tips to improve gas mileage and reduce fuel use, and use comparison tools on FuelEconomy.gov to find a fuel-efficient vehicle.
Hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and all-electric vehicles use electricity to improve vehicle efficiency. Visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center to learn more about the different types of vehicles.
Millions of Americans rely on public transportation. Watch the video below to learn more about the basics of sustainable public transport:
Sustainable Fuels and Batteries
Sustainable transportation options run on clean fuel, batteries, or both. Alternative fuels can be used in flexible-fuel and dual-fuel vehicles as well as vehicles with advanced technology, such as hybrid power systems and fuel cells. Alternative fuels help conserve fuel and reduce emissions. They include:
Advanced vehicle battery technologies have a longer driving range and a reduced charging time. Their costs are declining with ongoing R&D. Learn about EERE's work to improve batteries for electric vehicles.
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Maritime decarbonization is the process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the global maritime sector, with an overall goal of placing the sector on a pathway that limits global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The U.S. government has committed to ambitious goals for maritime emissions reduction which will require the resources and expertise of the numerous federal agencies working in concert.
Learn about maritime decarbonization and work in this area at the U.S. Department of Energy and its national laboratories.
Fuel-Efficient Driving and Vehicles
The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation was created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to facilitate collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Other Ways EERE Champions Clean Energy
Find Clean Energy Jobs
EERE is dedicated to building a clean energy economy, which means millions of new jobs in sustainable transportation and across industries. Learn more about job opportunities in clean energy: