From Cradle to Junkyard: Assessing the Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Electric Vehicles
Alissa Kendall and
Research in Transportation Economics, 2015, vol. 52, issue C, 72-90
U.S. programs subsidize electric vehicles (EVs) in part to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We model a suite of life cycle GHG emissions considerations to estimate the GHG abatement potential from switching from an internal combustion engine vehicle (ICE) to an EV in the continental U.S. The GHG intensity of EVs hinges on the electricity and ambient temperature when charged and operated. Both have high spatial and temporal heterogeneity, yet are typically modeled inadequately or overlooked entirely. We calculate marginal emissions, including renewables, for electricity by region and test forecasted grid composition to estimate future performance. Location and timing of charging are important GHG determinants, but temperature effects on EV performance can be equally important. On average, EVs slightly reduce GHGs relative to ICEs, but there are many regions where EVs provide a decisive benefit and others where EVs are significantly worse. The forecasted grid shifts from coal towards renewables, improving EV performance; the GHG benefit per EV in western states is roughly $425 today and $2400 in 2040.
Keywords: Electric vehicles; Greenhouse gas emissions; Life cycle assessment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q48 Q52 R48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (33) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:retrec:v:52:y:2015:i:c:p:72-90
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
https://shop.elsevie ... _01_ooc_2&version=01
Access Statistics for this article
Research in Transportation Economics is currently edited by M. Dresner
More articles in Research in Transportation Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().