Publication Detail

Cost-Effectiveness Assessment of Low-Carbon Vehicle and Fuel Technologies



Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

Available online at doi: 10.3141/2191-12

Suggested Citation:
Lutsey, Nicholas P. (2010) Cost-Effectiveness Assessment of Low-Carbon Vehicle and Fuel Technologies. Transportation Research Record 2191, 90 - 99

Governments around the world are implementing programs to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector. The targeted GHG emission reductions will require major transformations in the areas of vehicles and fuel; however, little effort has been made to systematically compare the costs of efficiency and alternative fuel options under consistent assumptions. This study analyzes the cost-effectiveness—or cost per tonne (metric ton) of GHG emission reduction—of near-term technology options for vehicle efficiency, biofuel usage, battery electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells for GHG reduction in the light-duty vehicle sector within the 2020 time frame. The costs and GHG impacts of emerging technologies are evaluated to develop a marginal GHG abatement  cost curve for a technology deployment scenario that complies with the adopted vehicle regulation and low-carbon fuel standard in California. The findings indicate large variation in estimates for cost per tonne across technologies and high uncertainty because of the price of petroleum.