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Magnitude and Value of Electric Vehicle Emissions Reductions for Six Driving Cycles in Four U.S. Cities with Varying Air Quality Problems

UCD-ITS-RP-94-03

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Suggested Citation:
Wang, Michael Q. and Danilo Santini (1993) Magnitude and Value of Electric Vehicle Emissions Reductions for Six Driving Cycles in Four U.S. Cities with Varying Air Quality Problems. Transportation Research Record (1416), 33 - 42

The emissions of logically competing mid-1990 gasoline vehicles (GVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) are estimated as if the vehicles were driven in the same pattern (driving cycle). Six driving cycles are evaluated, ranging in speed from 7 to 49 mph. These cycles are repeated using specific fuel composition, electric power mix, and environmental conditions applicable to Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, and New York. The emissions differences for 2000 are estimated for each of five pollutants: hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), and carbon dioxide (CO2). With use of EVs, HC and CO emissions are consistently lowered by 98% or more. Across metropolitan areas, CO2 emissions reductions are uniformly large at low speed but variable at high speed. Initially introduced EVs could achieve 100% emission reductions in Chicago by using off-peak power from nuclear power plants for recharging EVs. Emissions reductions occur for all combinations in Los Angeles and for most combinations in New York, except for SOx. NOx emissions are reduced in all four cities. An "avoided cost" value in dollars per ton of emissions reductions for each of the five pollutants is estimated for each of the four cities. The values for each city depend on severity of air quality standard violations. Dollar value of EV emissions reductions is calculated with dollars per ton of emissions reductions and estimated emissions reductions by EVs over the vehicle lifetime. The emissions reduction value is estimated as if a mid-1990s EV were substituted for a GV for each driving cycle in each city. Depending on driving conditions assumed, the emissions reduction value for EVs driven an average of 1.6 hr/day ranges from $12,600 to $19,200 in Los Angeles, $8,500 to $12,200 in New York, $3,200 to $9,400 in Chicago, and $6,000 to $9,000 in Denver (in 1989 dollars).