Do More Batteries Make A Plug-in Hybrid Better? Implications from Optimal Vehicle Design and Allocation

June 18, 2010 - 2:00pm

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology has the potential to help address economic, environmental, and national security concerns in the United States by reducing operating cost, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and petroleum consumption from the transportation sector. However, the net effects of PHEVs depend critically on vehicle design and battery technology. To examine these implications, we develop an integrated optimization model utilizing vehicle physics simulation, battery degradation data, and U.S. driving data to determine optimal vehicle design and allocation of vehicles to drivers for minimum net life cycle cost, GHG emissions, and petroleum consumption. We find that, while PHEVs with large battery packs minimize petroleum consumption, a mix of PHEVs with packs sized for ~25-50 miles of electric travel produces the greatest reduction in lifecycle GHG emissions. At 2008 average U.S. energy prices, Li-ion battery pack cost must fall below $590/kWh at a 5% discount rate, or below $410/kWh at 10%, for PHEVs to be cost competitive with ordinary hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). We find using new battery degradation data that battery swing in excess of 60% should be utilized to achieve minimum life cycle cost, GHGs, and petroleum consumption. Increased swing enables greater all-electric range (AER) to be achieved with smaller battery packs, improving cost competitiveness of PHEVs. Carbon allowance prices have marginal impact on optimal design or allocation of PHEVs, and PHEV life cycle costs must fall within a few percent of HEVs in order to offer a cost-effective approach to GHG reduction.

Add event to Google Calendar

Announcement List

To be added to our seminar annoucement list please, email ETA Seminars. Seminars may change without notice, stay informed by joining our seminar email list. 

Site Access

For site access please email your request to ETA Seminars. To arrive at Building 90 via the LBNL shuttle, take "Blue Uphill". Click here for the shuttle schedule. To ensure your site access is set-up send your request 36 hours in advance of the seminar.

Remote Access

Not able to attend in person? Remote participants can use ReadyTalk Audio & Net conference to phone in to listen, while viewing the presentation via the ReadyTalk site.

Web Access Code: 4864835

USA & Canada call-in number:
1 (866) 740-1260
Access Code: 4864835#

International callers:
Please visit this website to see if a toll-free call-in number is available for your international location.

If not, you will need to pay for the call yourself and use this phone number:

(303) 248-0285.