skip to content

Department of Architecture


A University of Cambridge-led project has been highlighted as a research success story in the EC's "Towards Low-Carbon Transport in Europe" report.

The TOSCA (Technology Opportunities and Strategies toward Climate-friendly TrAnsport) project has identified technologies with the potential to decrease energy use in all transport modes by 30 to 50%. In combination with low-carbon alternative fuels, the reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions would be even larger. Pursuing these innovations could lead to transport sector CO2 and other greenhouse gas emission levels of as little as half the 1990 emissions by 2050, despite a continued growth in passenger and freight transportation.

The findings suggest the technologies could come on stream after 2020. However, they also show that substantial R&D investment, and potentially new infrastructures, would be necessary to make this a realistic possibility.

Crucially, the research also assesses the mix of R&D investments, subsidies, taxes and biofuel production levels required to back the technologies in order for them to have a serious impact. However, despite the need for more energy-efficient technologies and less carbon intensive fuels, the study also identified the importance of behavioral change necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions more strongly.

The Principal Investigator on the project was Dr Andreas Schäfer, University Lecturer at the Department of Architecture. Senior Research Associate, Dr Lynnette Dray, also at the Department, led on the modelling for the project.

 Please click here to view the full report, and the TOSCA success story on page 17.