Moving from Assumption to Observation: Implications for Energy and Emissions Impacts of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Available online at: doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.06.126
Davies, Jamie and Kenneth S. Kurani (2013) Moving from Assumption to Observation: Implications for Energy and Emissions Impacts of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Energy Policy 62, 550 - 560
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are currently for sale in most parts of the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. These vehicles are promoted as providing distinct consumer and public benefits at the expense of grid electricity. However, the specific benefits or impacts of PHEVs ultimately relies on consumers purchase and vehicle use patterns. While considerable effort has been dedicated to understanding PHEV impacts on a per mile basis few studies have assessed the impacts of PHEV given actual consumer use patterns or operating conditions. Instead, simplifying assumptions have been made about the types of cars individual consumers will choose to purchase and how they will drive and charge them. Here, we highlight some of these consumer purchase and use assumptions, studies which have employed these assumptions and compare these assumptions to actual consumer data recorded in a PHEV demonstration project. Using simulation and hypothetical scenarios we discuss the implication for PHEV impact analyses and policy if assumptions about key PHEV consumer use variables such as vehicle choice, home charging frequency, distribution of driving distances, and access to workplace charging were to change.