Transforming Transportation in Michigan


The Sierra Club retained Synapse to model a pathway for the decarbonization of Michigan's transportation sector. As of 2018, transportation accounted for 32 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Synapse evaluated the macroeconomic impacts of a prospective state commitment to decarbonizing the transportation sector, with a focus on light-duty and heavy-duty motor vehicles. We used our EV-REDI model to develop electric vehicle (EV) adoption trajectories and to quantify the impact of EV adoption and vehicle miles traveled reduction (VMT) on GHG emissions, electricity consumption, gasoline and diesel consumption, and criteria pollutant emissions. Our analysis included applying the IMPLAN model to estimate the jobs, income, and GDP results of a clean transportation future. We also used the COBRA model to identify impacts on public health from reductions in criteria pollutant emissions. In a public-facing report, we described the results of our analysis and discussed key takeaways for how Michigan can accelerate greenhouse gas emissions while making the transportation system more sustainable, equitable, and affordable.

Project Completed January 2022