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Impacts of electric vehicles on primary energy consumption and petroleum displacement

Quanlu Wang and Mark A DeLuchi

Energy, 1992, vol. 17, issue 4, 351-366

Abstract: We analyze the impact of the use of electric vehicles (EVs) on energy consumption in general and on petroleum consumption in particular. The analysis has been conducted for sub-compact cars, small vans, and large vans and for the years 1995 and 2010. The comparison of per-mile primary energy consumption of EVs with that of gasoline-powered internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) was conducted for four primary energy sources: petroleum, coal, natural gas (NG), and biomass. When petroleum, NG, or biomass is the primary energy source, EVs with current technology will consume more energy per mile than ICEVs, but EVs with advanced technology will consume less. If coal is the primary energy source, both current- and advanced-technology EVs will consume less energy than ICEVs. The petroleum displacement by EVs was estimated for different cases of fuel mix for electricity generation. In many areas of the U.S., the use of EVs will reduce per-mile petroleum use by over 90%, because the vast majority of electricity is generated from non-petroleum fuels. In areas where a relatively large portion of electricity is generated from petroleum (such as New York), the use of EVs will reduce per-mile petroleum use by 65%.

Date: 1992
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