Publication Detail

"Expected Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions by Battery, Fuel Cell, and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles" a chapter in Electric Hybrid and Vehicles

UCD-ITS-RP-10-88

Reprint

This chapter presents background on greenhouse gas emission (GHG) formation from motor vehicles and then estimates of GHG emissions from various types of electric vehicles (EVs) such as battery, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles from studies conducted by research groups at universities, national labs, government agencies, and other groups are reviewed. EVs can even have very low to zero emissions of GHGs when they run on renewable fuels; however, at present, EVs are more expensive than other options that offer significant reductions at lower costs as electricity is largely generated from conventional fuels. When coal is heavily used to produce electricity or H2, GHG emissions tend to increase significantly compared with conventional fuel alternatives. Without carbon capture and sequestration, coal-based fuels even in conjunction with electric drive systems offer little or no benefit. Much deeper reductions of over 90% in GHG are possible for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) if they are run on renewable or nuclear power sources. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) running on gasoline can reduce emissions by 20–60%, and fuel cell EVs can reduce GHGs by 30–50% when they run on natural gas-derived H2 and up to 95% or more when the H2 is produced and potentially compressed by using renewable feedstocks.

Suggested Citation: T.E. Lipman and M. A. Delucchi, “Expected Greenhouse Gas Reductions by Battery, Fuel Cell, and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles,” Chapter 5 in Electric and Hybrid Vehicles: Power Sources, Models, Sustainability, Infrastructure and the Market, ed. by G. Pistoia, Elsevier B. V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 113-158 (2010).