Suggested Citation: Delucchi, Mark A., Christopher Yang, Andrew Burke, Joan M. Ogden, Kenneth S. Kurani, Jeff Kessler, Daniel Sperling (2013) An Assessment of Electric Vehicles: Technology, Infrastructure Requirements, Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, Petroleum Use, Material Use, Lifetime Cost, Consumer Acceptance and Policy Initiatives. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 372 (2006), 1 - 28
Concerns about climate change, urban air pollution and dependence on unstable and expensive supplies of foreign oil have led policy-makers and researchers to investigate alternatives to conventional petroleum fuelled internal-combustion-engine vehicles in transportation. Because vehicles that get some or all of their power from an electric drivetrain can have low or even zero emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and urban air pollutants, and can consume little or no petroleum, there is considerable interest in developing and evaluating advanced electric vehicles (EVs), including pure battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles. To help researchers and policy-makers assess the potential of EVs to mitigate climate change and reduce petroleum use, this paper discusses the technology of EVs, the infrastructure needed for their development, impacts on emissions of GHGs, petroleum use, materials use, lifetime costs, consumer acceptance and policy considerations.