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CEIC-10-04

"Net Air Emissions from Electric Vehicles: The Effect of Carbon Price and Charging Strategies"
Scott B. Peterson, J.F. Whitacre, and Jay Apt

Abstract:
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) may become part of the transportation fleet on time scales of a decade or two. We calculate the electric grid load increase and emissions due to vehicle battery charging in PJM and NYISO with the current generation mix, the current mix with a $50/tonne CO2 price, and this case but with existing coal generators retrofitted with 80% CO2 capture. PHEV fleet percentages between 0.4 and 50% are examined. Vehicles with small (4 kWh) and large (16 kWh) batteries are modeled with driving patterns from the National Household Transportation Survey. Three charging strategies and three scenarios for future electric generation are considered. When compared to 2020 CAFE standards, net CO2 emissions in New York are reduced by switching from gasoline to electricity, but coal-heavy PJM shows no significant benefit unless coal units are fitted with CCS or replaced with lower CO2 generation. NOx is reduced in both RTOs, but SO2 increases.

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