Cost-Effectiveness of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions from Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

TitleCost-Effectiveness of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions from Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsKammen DM, Lemoine D, Arons S, Hummel H
Conference NameBrookings-Google Plug-in Hybrid Summit
Date Published07/2008
Keywordsclimate change mitigation, cost-effectiveness, PHEVs, plug-in hybrid vehicle

Cars and light trucks in the United States consume about 8 million barrels of gasoline per day, which is more than the total amount of petroleum produced in the United States and accounts for 18 percent of national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Consumption and emissions have been rising at about 1.5 percent per year.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles could alter these trends. On a vehicle technology spectrum that stretches from fossil fuel–powered conventional vehicles (CVs) through hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) to all-electric vehicles (AEVs), PHEVs fall between the latter two types: they can run either in gasoline-fueled hybrid electric mode (like an HEV) or in all-electric mode with grid-supplied energy (like an AEV). PHEVs are intriguing because they combine the best aspects of CVs (long range and easy refueling) with the best aspects of AEVs (low tailpipe emissions and reduced use of petroleum) and hence promise to reduce transportation-related GHG emissions, improve urban air quality, reduce petroleum consumption, and expand competition in the transportation fuels sector. Several companies now offer to convert HEVs to PHEVs, and several automakers, notably General Motors, Daimler- Chrysler, and Toyota, have announced PHEV development projects.

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