Life cycle emissions and cost model

Life cycle emissions and cost model for urban light duty vehicles. 


The growth of vehicle sales and use internationally requires the consumption of significant quantities of energy and materials, and contributes to the deterioration of air-quality and climate conditions. Advanced propulsion systems and electric drive vehicles have substantially different characteristics and impacts. They require life cycle assessments and detailed comparisons with gasoline powered vehicles which, in turn, should lead to critical updates of traditional models and assumptions. For a comprehensive comparison of advanced and traditional light duty vehicles, a model is developed that integrates external costs, including emissions and time losses, with societal and consumer life cycle costs. Life cycle emissions and time losses are converted into costs for seven urban light duty vehicles. The results, which are based on vehicle technology characteristics and transportation impacts on the environment, facilitate vehicle comparisons and support policy making in transportation. Substantially, more sustainable urban transportation can be achieved in the short-term by promoting policies that increase vehicle occupancy; in the intermediate-term by increasing the share of hybrid vehicles in the car market and in the long-term by the widespread use of electric vehicles. A sensitivity-analysis of life cost results revealed that vehicle costs change significantly for different geographical areas depending on vehicle taxation, pricing of gasoline, electric power and pollution. Current practices in carbon and air quality pricing favor oil and coal-based technologies. However, increasing the cost of electricity from coal and other fossil fuels would increase the variable cost for electric vehicles, and tend to favor the variable cost of hybrid vehicles. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2015.09.024

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