Energy use, cost and CO2 emissions of electric cars

van Vliet, O., Brouwer, A.S., Kuramochi, T., van den Broek, M., & Faaij, A. (2011). Energy use, cost and CO2 emissions of electric cars. Journal of Power Sources 196 (4) 2298-2310. 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2010.09.119.

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We examine efficiency, costs and greenhouse gas emissions of current and future electric cars (EV), including the impact from charging EV on electricity demand and infrastructure for generation and distribution.

Uncoordinated charging would increase national peak load by 7% at 30% penetration rate of EV and household peak load by 54%, which may exceed the capacity of existing electricity distribution infrastructure. At 30% penetration of EV, off-peak charging would result in a 20% higher, more stable base load and no additional peak load at the national level and up to 7% higher peak load at the household level. Therefore, if off-peak charging is successfully introduced, electric driving need not require additional generation capacity, even in case of 100% switch to electric vehicles.

GHG emissions from electric driving depend most on the fuel type (coal or natural gas) used in the generation of electricity for charging, and range between 0 g km−1 (using renewables) and 155 g km−1 (using electricity from an old coal-based plant). Based on the generation capacity projected for the Netherlands in 2015, electricity for EV charging would largely be generated using natural gas, emitting 35–77 g CO2 eq km−1.

We find that total cost of ownership (TCO) of current EV are uncompetitive with regular cars and series hybrid cars by more than 800 € year−1. TCO of future wheel motor PHEV may become competitive when batteries cost 400 € kWh−1, even without tax incentives, as long as one battery pack can last for the lifespan of the vehicle. However, TCO of future battery powered cars is at least 25% higher than of series hybrid or regular cars. This cost gap remains unless cost of batteries drops to 150 € kWh−1 in the future. Variations in driving cost from charging patterns have negligible influence on TCO.

GHG abatement costs using plug-in hybrid cars are currently 400–1400 € tonne−1 CO2 eq and may come down to −100 to 300 € tonne−1. Abatement cost using battery powered cars are currently above 1900 € tonne−1 and are not projected to drop below 300–800 € tonne−1.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Electric car; Plug-in hybrid car; Battery charging; Life cycle costs; WTW emissions
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Bibliographic Reference: Power Sources; 196(4):2298-2310 (15 February 2011) (Published online 8 October 2010)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:45
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:21

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