Research (Ongoing)

Evaluation of the Technical Feasibility of Wireless Roadside Inspection pilots in KY, TN, and NY. These electronic screening pilot tests aim to increase inspection rates of heavy vehicles and support current inspection processes. Catherine Bryant (MS Civil Engineering) is working on this project (NTRCI and FMCSA)

Wireless roadside Inspection

Identifying requirements to convert an entire medium-sized bus fleet to hydrogen including fleet, infrastructure, personnel, and transitional requirements. This project is part of the East Tennessee Hydrogen Initiative (ETHI).  Casey Langford (PhD Civil Engineering) is working on this project (FTA)

Hydrogen Bus System Conversion

Public Health Impacts of E-Vehicles in China

This project estimates the exposure efficiency of electric vehicles relative to their gasoline and diesel counterparts in China, using an intake fraction methodology, comparing emissions from power plants and tailpipes. From here, we extend the analysis to identify the
public health impacts of PM2.5 emissions from both e-vehicles and ICE vehicles. This research involved collaboration with University of Minnesota (Julian Marshall) and Tsinghua University (Ye Wu)(Energy Foundation)

1. Ji, S.G., C. Cherry, J. Marshall (2009) Intake fraction of electric vehicle and traditional motorized vehicle in China. Professional Association for China’s Environment (PACE) 2009 Summer Camp. Kunming, Yunnan China. July 12-15, 2009


Market for e-scooters in India and vietnam and their potential environmental impacts

This project developed stated preference choice experiments for future two-wheeler purchasers and identified what factors they valued in a vehicle. From this analysis, we could identify potential markets
for e-scooters in gasoline scooter dominated cities of Hanoi, Vietnam and Ahmedabad, India. This project included  collaborative efforts with Hanoi University of Transport and Communications and the Center from Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad.  Luke Jones (Economics PhD candidate) worked on this project.  (Asian Development Bank)

1. Jones, L., C. Cherry (2009) Assessing the Demand For E-Scooters in Hanoi, Vietnam: Can Technological Improvements and Sales Tax Incentives Stimulate Adoption? International Transport Economics Conference. Minneapolis MN. June 15-16, 2009.

This research analyzes the environmental performance of e-bikes relative to other competing modes, their market potential, and the viability of alternative battery technologies. It also frames the role

of e-bikes in the PRC’s transportation system and recommends policy for decision makers in the PRC’s

central and municipal governments. Collaboration with Tsinghua University (Yang Xinmiao) and University of California, Davis (Jonathan Weinert) (Asian Development Bank)

  1. 1.Cherry, C., J. Weinert, X.M. Yang (2009) Comparative Environmental Impacts of Electric Bikes in China. Transportation Research Part D. 14(5) pg 281-290.

  2. 2.Cherry, C., J.X. Weinert, X.M. Yang (2009) Electric Bikes in the People’s Republic of China-Impact on the Environment and Prospects for Future Growth. Asian Development Bank Report.


Electric Bikes in the People’s Republic of China--Impact on the Environment and Prospects for Growth

The lead pollution implications of the bridging the PC digital divide

It took decades to reach the first billion computers. It is expected that 1.4 billion more will be sold before the end of 2015. Many of these will be distributed to the poorest individuals through philanthropic organizations. It is expected that those without electricity will power their computers with lead batteries. This research quantifies some of the effects of this transition in terms of lead pollution in developing countries. 

1. Cherry, C., P. Gottesfeld (2009) Plans to distribute the next billion computers by 2015 creates lead pollution risk. Journal of Cleaner Production (in press)


E-bikes in china-policy, mobility, environment and safety

My dissertation research investigated some of the policies leading to strong e-bike growth in China, some of the mobility advantages, behavioral aspects of e-bike use, environmental impacts and ultimately safety. This research resulted in several publications and follow-up research (Volvo Foundation, National Science Foundation)

  1. 1.Cherry, C. (2007) Environmental, Safety and Mobility Implications of Electric Two-Wheeler Use In China. PhD Dissertation

  2. 2.Cherry, C. (2009) Clarifying the Debate On Electric Two-Wheelers In China. In Electric Vehicles: Technology, Research and Development. ISBN: 978-1-60741-142-0. Editor G. Raines. NOVA Publishers. Invited (In Press)

  3. 3.Cherry, C., L. Jones, J. Xiong (2009) E-Bike Use in China: Patterns, Dynamics, Determinants, and Environmental Impacts. Professional Association for China’s Environment (PACE) 2009 Summer Camp. Kunming, Yunnan China. July 12-15, 2009

  4. 4.Weinert, J.X., C.T. Ma, X.M. Yang, C. Cherry (2007) The Transition to Electric Bikes in China: Effect on Travel Behavior, Mode Shift, and User Safety Perceptions in a Medium-Sized City. Transportation Research Record. Journal of the Transportation Research Board 2038 pg 62-68.

  5. 5. Cherry, C., R. Cervero (2007) Use Characteristics and Mode Choice Behavior of Electric Bike Users in China. Transport Policy. 14(3) pg 247-257.

  6. 6.Weinert, J., C.T. Ma, C. Cherry (2007) The Transition to Electric Bikes in China: History And Key Reasons For Rapid Growth. Transportation. Vol. 34. Issue 3.

In collaboration with OK International (Perry Gottesfeld), we worked with the Vietnam EPA to assist in the development of a lead acid battery recovery and recycling policy and assisted in developing a lead battery eco-label for sustainably produced batteries, called the “BEST” eco-label ( Luke Jones (Economics PhD student) worked heavily on this project (National Collegiate Innovator and Inventor Association)

1. Jones, L., P. Gottesfeld, C. Cherry (2008) Policy Options for Developing a Lead Battery Take-Back System for Vietnam. Vietnam Environmental Protection Agency Policy Paper.


Lead battery recycling policy and eco-label development for manufacturers in vietnam

Transportation and Tourism in China

China has experienced a large increase in domestic tourism in the past decade. This study investigates the travel behavior of tourists in the Dali region to determine if the current pattern of transportation choice is environmentally sustainable, given the context of Dali, China. Research conducted with Kunming University of Science and Technology (He Min) and Dan Newquist (MS Planning).

New Town development and mode choice

With China’s massive urban migration and population growth, urban areas are becoming increasingly congested. One solution is to relocate industries and residents to “new towns”. This research investigates mode choice and travel behavior of a proposed “new town” of one million outside Kunming, China, connected to the city by a proposed metro rail system. We use a stated preference experimental methodology to estimate mode choice. Research conducted with Kunming University of Science and Technology (He Min) and Casey Langford (PhD Civil Engineering)

vulnerable road user safety and operations at chinese intersections

This research investigates vulnerable road user safety (bicyclists and pedestrians) at intersections in China and suggests some alternative operational strategies that could improve safety (particularly with right turning vehicles) with minimal disruption to operational efficiency. Research conducted with Kunming University of Science and Technology (Xiong Jian) and Terrance Hill (MS Civil Engineering) (National Science Foundation)

managed truck lanes and opportunities for operational and safety improvements

We use simulation techniques to investigate performance and safety impacts of various managed lane configurations. Moreover, we survey truck drivers and identify feasible configurations from their perspective. Overall, significant safety gains can be had in urban areas with high truck traffic by managing lanes more effectively. Conducted with Adebola Adelakun (MS Civil Engineering).

  1. 1.Adelakun, A., C. Cherry (2010) Analysis of Inside Managed Truck Lanes on Freeways in Urban Area. Transportation Research Record. Journal of the Transportation Research Board (in review)

  2. 2.Adelakun, A, C. Cherry (2009) Exploring Truck Driver Perceptions and Preferences: Congestion and Conflict, Managed Lanes, and Tolls. The 88th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board. Washington D.C. January 11-15, 2009.

Evaluation of performance of Tennessee’s existing intercity bus system, focusing on identifying markets served and potential market demand. This project will also develop more optimum route structures for intercity bus to maximize ridership and access. Hongtai Yang (PhD Civil Engineering) is working on this project (TDOT)

Tennessee Intercity Bus

This research investigates the open question of whether e-bikes can be included in third- or fourth-generation bike sharing schemes. We are launching a 20-bike 2-station pilot to investigate operational, technical, economic, behavioral, and environmental factors of such a system. Follow the project at

Shared Electric Bikes

This research is the subject of an NSF CAREER award, focused on estimating the sustainability implications of how China motorizes (vehicle purchase type and use). This five-year project focuses on behavioral research and eduction, coupled with environmental sustainability analysis. Partnerships include Luyuan electric vehicle company, Kunming University of Science and Technology (He Min), and Tsinghua University (Yang Xinmiao and Ye Wu).

Sustainability Implications of transportation choice in China

Bicycle and pedestrian safety investments are often difficult to prioritize in traditional highway safety funding mechanisms. This research identifies modeling and policy frameworks to improve investment strategies in non-motorized safety. Zane Pannell (MS Civil Engineering) is working on this project, along with partners Deo Chimba and Daniel Emaasit from Tennessee State University.

Bike and Pedestrian SAfety investment

Research (Completed)

Investigation of the use of ITS, including personal devices like smartphones to facilitate safe and efficient parking of trucks. This research effort focuses on truck driver surveys detailing the adoption and use of personal technology devices to assist in decision-making.


This research investigates optimum fleet size and assignment in the context of limited range and long-recharge battery EV’s. This work develops methods to optimize on cost with a focus on balancing operation and capital costs while meeting trip demands in a large corporate vehicle fleet. We use UT’s motorpool as a case study. 

optimum fleet assignment and EV’s