LIFECYCLE CO2eq OF INTERNAL COMBUSTION VERSUS ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Almost all studies compare ICs and EVs, as if they traveled the same number of miles over a period of years. This is a serious error, because EVs travel, on average, about 9642 miles per year and ICs about 13433 miles per year, i.e., EVs travel about 28% less miles than ICs. The average annual miles driven by a driver is 13476. See Appendix.

In actual practice, EVs are mostly used for shorter trips, because of a lack of range, but ICs are used for short and long trips. That means a second vehicle, which may be owned, leased, rented or borrowed, is required for 13433 - 9642 = 3791 miles per year.

 

Almost all studies also do not account for:

 

- The increased internal resistance of the battery, which means more electricity/mile is required as the battery ages.

- The energy expended for extraction, processing, and transportation of fuel for ICs, i.e., from well to tank,

- The energy expended for extraction, processing, conversion and transmission of electricity for EVs, i.e., from mine, well, etc., to house meter

- The embedded energy, and resultant CO2 emissions, of the vehicles. 

 

This comparison accounts for all of the above 5 items, which significantly reduces the CO2 emissions advantage of an efficient EV over an efficient IC.

EV and Hybrid Sales in 2018 

Every month InsideEVs tracks all the plug-in EV and hybrid sales/deliveries for the US by automaker and brand. This partial list shows the best sellers at the top are EVs with big batteries and long ranges. That means upscale households who can afford these vehicles want a driving range of at least 250 miles. The Tesla Model 3 numbers likely will increase by about 150,000 by the end of 2018, due to a production increase.

https://insideevs.com/monthly-plug-in-sales-scorecard/

 

2018 EV and Hybrid Sales

Type

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

YTD

Tesla Model 3  

EV

1875

2485

3820

3875

6250

6062

24367

Toyota Prius Prime

Hybrid

1496

2050

2922

2626

2924

2237

14255

Tesla Model S  

EV

800

1125

3375

1250

1520

2750

10820

Tesla Model X  

EV

700

975

2825

1025

1450

2550

9525

Chevrolet Bolt EV  

EV

1177

1424

1774

1275

1125

1083

7858

Chevrolet Volt

Hybrid

713

983

1782

1325

1675

1336

7814

Nissan LEAF  

EV

150

895

1500

1171

1576

1367

6659

Honda Clarity PHEV

Hybrid

594

881

1061

1049

1639

5224

Ford Fusion Energi

EV

640

794

782

742

740

604

4302

BMW i3 (BEV + REx)  

EV+Hybrid

382

623

992

503

424

580

3504

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Hybrid

375

450

480

425

650

710

3090

BMW 530e

EV

224

413

689

518

729

2573

BMWX5 xDrive 40e

EV

261

596

627

563

499

2546

Basis of Comparison

 

I assumed a household has an EV as the primary vehicle and an IC as the secondary vehicle. For performing the required short and long trips, an efficient EV/IC combo should be compared with an efficient IC. See spreadsheet.

 

The comparison was based on the EPA Combined values for medium-size passenger vehicles:

 

- EV electricity consumption is at 31 kWh/100 miles, or 100 x 33.7/31 = 108.7 mpg equivalent, on a year-round basis in year 1.

- IC fuel consumption is at 30 mpg of gasohol (90 gas/10 ethanol) on a year-round basis.

 

NOTE:

 

- EPA assumes 33.7 kWh is equivalent to one gallon of gasoline, or 115,000 Btu. It takes about 115000/0.35 = 328571 Btu of source energy (well, mine, etc.), which if converted to primary energy to power plants, would produce 33.7 kWh at the house meter.

 

Efficiency of US power system

0.35

Btu

kWh

Inputs, various forms of energy, 1.0/Efficiency

2.857

328571

Losses, conversion, transmissions, etc.

1.857

213571

Output

1.000

115000

33.7

- It takes about 817,113 Btu of various energy inputs to produce 1 million Btu of ethanol, well-to-pump basis. See page 4 of URL.

https://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/042308lcfs_etoh.pdf

 

NOTE: See below table for energy required to produce one unit of gasoline. It takes only 230,000 Btu of various energy inputs to produce 1 million Btu of gasoline, well-to-pump basis.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/so-exactly-how-much-electricity-does...

Energy for one unit of gasoline, well to pump

Extraction/recovery

0.980

Refining

0.845

Distribution/transport

0.984

Storage

0.998

Efficiency, well to pump

0.813

Inputs, various forms of energy, 1.0/Efficiency

1.230

Losses

0.230

Output, 1 unit of gasoline

1.000

NOTE: EVs are designed for minimum energy consumption to maximize range. If ICs were similarly designed, they would have much better mileage, likely in excess of 35 mpg for a medium-size passenger vehicle.

 

NOTE: If a medium-size EV/IC combo were compared with Toyota Prius hybrid (non plug-in; 54 mpg EPA combined), the EV/IC combo would have significantly more CO2 emissions (embedded + operating) than the Prius, on a lifetime basis.

Source Energy CO2 Emissions

1) The energy to EVs is on a source (mine, well, etc.)-to-electric meter basis. Many comparison studies ignore any energy before it arrives at the meter, which make EVs look much better than ICs. That is not true in the real world.

The US grid had CO2 emissions of 1.128 lb/kWh in 2016, on a source (mine, well, etc.)-to-electric meter basis. See Appendix.

 

2) The energy to ICs is on a source (mine, well, etc.)-to-tank basis.

E-10, gasohol, has CO2 emissions = 1.2568, upstream factor x (17.68, Fossil Fuel + 1.27, Ethanol) = 23.816 lb/gallon, per EIA. See URL.

http://www.patagoniaalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/How-muc...

Battery Embedded CO2eq Emissions

The embedded CO2eq, on a source (mine, well, etc.,)-to-factory gate basis, refers to the energy uses for mining, processing and transporting, and for battery cell and battery pack manufacturing. The embedded CO2eq of a battery pack is about 43% of an entire medium-size EV. See table.

- The IC is assumed to have about 5.60 metric ton of CO2eq emissions. See URL.

- The EV/IC combo is assumed to have 14.40 metric ton of CO2eq emissions.

https://www.triplepundit.com/2011/06/full-life-cycle-assesment-elec...;

NOTE: EVs with large capacity batteries, such as the full-size Tesla Model S (75 to 100 kWh), have about 1.5 times higher battery embedded CO2eq emissions than a medium-size EV. See table.

 

Vehicle

Battery

Total

Total

metric ton

metric ton

metric ton

lb CO2eq

EV, medium-sized

5.00

3.80

8.80

19401

IC, medium-sized

5.60

5.60

12346

EV/IC combo, medium-sized

14.40

31747

Tesla Model S, full-sized

7.00

5.70

12.70

27999

The below spreadsheet shows:

- The miles traveled and the CO2 emissions of the EV, the IC and the EV/IC Combo.

- The battery efficiency decreasing about 7% by year 10, i.e., more kWh/mile is needed in later years. See note.

- The embedded and operating CO2 emissions of the EV/IC combo and IC.

 

Travel

 

 

 

 

Travel

 

Travel

 

72% EV

28% IC

IC

Electr.

CO2

CO2

CO2

yr

mile/y

eff factor

kWh/mile

kWh/y

lb/y

mile/y

lb/y

mile/y

lb/y

1

9642

1.000

0.310

2989

3370

3791

3010

13433

10664

2

9642

0.992

0.312

3012

3397

3791

3010

13433

10664

3

9642

0.984

0.315

3036

3423

3791

3010

13433

10664

4

9642

0.977

0.317

3060

3451

3791

3010

13433

10664

5

9642

0.969

0.320

3085

3478

3791

3010

13433

10664

6

9642

0.961

0.323

3110

3506

3791

3010

13433

10664

7

9642

0.953

0.325

3135

3535

3791

3010

13433

10664

8

9642

0.946

0.328

3161

3564

3791

3010

13433

10664

9

9642

0.938

0.331

3187

3594

3791

3010

13433

10664

10

9642

0.930

0.333

3214

3624

3791

3010

13433

10664

96420

30991

34942

30096

134330

106642

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EV/IC

IC

CO2eq

CO2eq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lb

lb

EV electr.

34942

IC fuel

30096

106642

Embedded

31747

12346

Lifecycle

96785

118988

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metric ton

44.9

54.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23%

Less Range and More kWh/mile After Aging

Based on owner-reported driving results, Tesla Model S batteries retained 95.6% of their original range after 50,000 kilometers (31,068 miles, or 31068/13433 = 2.3 years), and 94% at 100,000 km (62,137 miles, or 4.6 y), and remained above 90% as far out as 250,000 km (155,352 miles, or 11.6 y).

 

These reported results were based on the vehicle meter, which measures the kWh already in the battery (state of charge); losses from house meter, AC to DC conversion, and charging into the battery are ignored. Table 2 does NOT ignore those losses.

https://qz.com/1325206/tesla-owners-battery-data-show-it-wont-win-t...

 

NOTE: See figure 7 in URL, which shows increased internal resistance and loss of capacity for only 40000 h, or 4.56 y

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030626191731190X

 

NOTE: The average age of US light vehicle population was about 11.6 years in 2016. In this comparison, the EV life was taken at 10 years, because of increased sluggishness and lesser range in later years, which would be especially noticeable driving uphill, on dirt roads, with snow and ice on roads, and during cold weather when heating of the battery and the passenger compartment is required. See Appendix.

http://www.autonews.com/article/20161122/RETAIL05/161129973/average...

 

Table 1/Age

New

10y

11y - 15y

Charging

House meter to battery

0.978

0.978

0.978

Battery internal resistance

0.965

0.876

0.862

Phantom loss

0.887

0.887

0.887

Loss factor

0.837

0.760

0.748

Loss, %

16.3

24.0

25.2

Discharging

Battery internal resistance

0.965

0.876

0.862

Battery to wheels

0.970

0.970

0.970

Loss factor

0.936

0.850

0.836

Loss, %

6.4

15.0

16.4

Range, miles

300.0

272.3

268.0

Remaining range, %

90.8

89.3

Loss factor, house meter to wheels

0.784

0.646

0.625

Loss, house meter to wheels, %

21.6

35.4

37.5

Conclusion

 

As the future US grid becomes cleaner, the 23% EV/IC combo advantage over ICs would increase. To make the US grid cleaner with less coal, and more natural gas, and more renewables, such as wind, solar, etc., is very expensive, especially, if nuclear, coal, gas and oil plants are shut down and replaced with massive build-outs of 1) wind and solar, and 2) very large capacity energy storage systems, and 3) expanded grid systems. See URLs.

 

As future ICs likely would get better mileage, the 23% EV/IC combo advantage over ICs would decrease. To make ICs more efficient is not very expensive, as proven by the Toyota Prius hybrid, and the Toyota Prius hybrid plug-in (which has a slightly larger battery), both of which are rated at about 54 mpg EPA combined.

More Hybrids Much Better Than More EVs

A much larger build-out of plug-in hybrids, instead of EVs, would:

 

- Require far fewer public charging stations (nearly all of the hybrids would charge their smaller capacity batteries at home). Non plug-in hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius (54 mpg EPA combined), do not require charging stations.

- Require minimal or no subsidies.

- Impose a much lesser burden on the US electricity supply system.

- Eliminate range anxiety.

- Greatly reduce the battery disposal/recycling problem.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-and-solar-hype-ver...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/a-likely-scenario-durin...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/new-england-will-need-t...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/daily-shifting-of-wind-...

 

APPENDIX 1

Source to Meter: Electrical energy has a source energy, which, if reduced by about 8% due to exploration, extraction, processing and transport, becomes the primary energy fed to power plants, which convert that energy into electricity, which after transmission and distribution losses of about 6.5%, arrives at user meters. As a result, the energy fed to the meter has to be multiplied by 2.8776 to obtain source energy. The source CO2 of the US grid was 1.2712 lb. of CO2/kWh in 2013 (1.1275 in 2016). See Table 8, Appendix 2.

 

Source to Tank: E10 fuel (90% gasoline/10% ethanol) has a source energy, which, if reduced due to exploration, extraction, processing and transport, becomes the primary energy fed to E10 vehicles. As a result, the energy fed to the tank has to be multiplied by 1.2568 to obtain source energy. The source CO2 of E10 is 1.2568 x (17.68, Fossil Fuel + 1.27, Ethanol) = 23.816 lb. CO2/gal, per EIA. See URLs.

 

http://www.patagoniaalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/How-muc...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/source-energy-and-prima...

APPENDIX 2

US CO2 Emissions Decreased Due to Less Coal and More Natural Gas: The URL shows the unusually rapid decrease of CO2 emissions during 2015 and 2016. Such a rapid decrease likely will not occur during the next few years, as natural gas prices likely will increase due to exports, and as changes in EPA rules likely will cause fewer coal plants to close. A “cleaner” US grid would mean EVs would compare more favorable with E10 vehicles regarding emissions.

https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/mer.pdf

 

Table 8

Year

2013

2016

CO2, MMt

2053

1821

To meters, TWh

3845.38

3845.38

kg CO2/kWh

0.5339

0.4736

lb/kg

2.2046

2.2046

lb CO2/kWh, PE basis

1.1770

1.0440

Upstream factor

1.08

1.08

lb CO2/kWh, SE basis

1.2712

1.1275

g/lb

454

454

g CO2/kWh, SE basis

577

512

APPENDIX 3

Plug-in Driving in New England

 

With snow and ice, and hills, and dirt roads, and mud season, 4-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles, such as SUVs, ¼-ton pick-ups, minivans, are a necessity in rural areas.

 

Here is a list of plug-ins. Very few have 4-wheel/all-wheel drive and some of them cost 1.5 to 3 times as much as a Subaru Outback, which has all-wheel drive.

http://www.plugincars.com/cars

 

Plug-in EV: Driving an EV in winter, with snow and ice, and hills, and dirt roads, and mud season, and at low temperature, say - 10 C, with the heat pumps heating the battery and the passenger cabin, would be very sluggish going, unless the EV had a large capacity, kWh, battery. The additional stress would cause increased battery aging and capacity loss.

 

There are EVs, such as the Tesla Model S, $80,000-$100,000, with 75 - 100 kWh batteries, which offer road-clearance adjustment and all-wheel drive as options, but they are out of reach of almost all Vermonters.

 

Plug-in Hybrid: Driving a plug-in hybrid in winter, such as a Toyota Prius Prime, 54 mpg, would be much better, but it does not have 4-wheel/all-wheel drive, a major drawback; the major reason I drive a Subaru Outback.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/evs-and-plug-in-hybrids...

APPENDIX 4

Vermont: 

Plug-ins increased from 88 in July 2012 to 1522 in January 2016. 

Pure EVs totaled 330, about 330/1522 = 22% of all plug-ins.  

The plug-in increase was about 1522 - 1113 = 409 from Jan. 2015 to Jan. 2016.

Total plug-ins could be as much as 2000 at end 2017 

New vehicle registrations were 41000 in 2016. 

Plug-in registration was about 409/41000 = 1.0% of all new vehicle registrations. 

The VT Comprehensive Energy Plan goal is 4700 new plug-in registrations in 2025. See page 164 of CEP. It is likely about 78% of the plug-ins would be hybrids.

People favor hybrids over EVs, because EVs just do not have the range and are terrible performers under Vermont winter conditions. See below.

APPENDIX 5

The annual average miles a vehicle is driven is shown in the table. The average annual miles driven by a driver is 13,476. That means quite a few cars are underused, i.e., many people have two cars, but mostly use one of them.

 

https://www.afdc.energy.gov/data/10309

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/bar8.htm

 

IC Vehicle type

 Annual miles

Light truck

 11,712

Light-Duty Vehicle

 11,346

Car

 11,244

 

Annual miles of EVs and Hybrids Much Less Than IC Vehicles: The below table shows the average annual miles travelled by EVs is 9642, about 28% less than the 13433 of ICs. This is likely due to EVs being mostly used for local trips (because of a lack of range) and ICs being used for local and longer trips. See table.

 

Plug-in Hybrids, with Large Capacity Batteries: The Chevy-Volt has a large capacity battery and travels, on average, about 74% of its annual miles in electric mode. See table.

 

Plug-in Hybrids, with Small Capacity Batteries: The Honda Accord and Toyota Prius PHEVs have small capacity batteries and travel 22% or less of their annual miles in electric mode. See table

https://insideevs.com/annual-electric-miles-traveled-varies-widely-...

 

Type

Electric

PHEV

Total

Battery %

Nissan Leaf

9697

9697

100

Ford Focus Electric

9548

9548

100

Honda Fit EV

9680

9680

100

PEV average

9642

ChevyVolt

9112

3126

12238

74

Ford C-Max Energi

4069

8334

12403

33

Ford Fusion Energi

4337

8066

12403

35

Honda Accord

3336

11650

14986

22

Toyota Prius

2484

12652

15136

16

PHEV average

 

 

13433

 

PHEV/PEV, %

 

 

28

 

APPENDIX 6

One Year of REAL WORLD Experience With a Tesla Model S: An upstate New York owner of a Tesla Model S measured the house meter kWh, vehicle meter kWh, and miles for one year (bold numbers in table). There was significant kWh/mile variation throughout the year. His real world annual average was 0.392 kWh/mile, house meter-to-wheel. The Model S has regenerative braking as a standard feature. The owner did not take into account the source-to-house meter electricity losses.

 

- Owners may use 0.392 kWh/mile, or less, in other US regions.

- New EVs would use less kWh/mile than older EVs, due to battery system degradation.

- Data, as measured by owner in New York State, covers only the driving energy. The embedded CO2 is ignored.

 

See URLs, especially the second, which has a wealth of data.

 

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1090685_life-with-tesla-model-s...

http://www.uniteconomics.com/files/Tesla_Motors_Is_the_Model_S_Gree...

 

Tesla, Model S

EV

IC

Electricity cost, c/kWh

14

Mileage, miles/gal

30

Fuel, E-10, $/gal

2.80

Miles in one year

15243

kWh, vehicle meter, kWh in one year

5074

kWh/mile, vehicle meter basis

0.333

5074/15243

kWh/mile, vehicle meter basis

0.301

Apr-Oct

kWh/mile, vehicle meter basis

0.290

July

kWh/mile, vehicle meter basis

0.371

Nov-Feb

kWh/mile, vehicle meter basis

0.400

Jan

Charging loss

626

Phantom loss; 1 kWh/d

365

c/mile

c/mile

kWh, house meter 

6065

5.48

9.33

kWh/mile, house meter basis

0.398

Loss, house meter  to battery

16.3%

100 x (1-0.333/0.398)

 

 

APPENDIX 7

Thanks to Akilae from the Model 3 Owners Club, we can now compare the efficiency between the three Tesla models currently on sale.

https://pushevs.com/2017/08/01/tesla-model-3-efficiency-impressive/

 

Below are the internal efficiency numbers that Tesla uses to rate its electric cars:

 

Tesla Model 3: 23.7 kWh/100 miles – 14.73 kWh/100 km

Tesla Model S: 34.4 kWh/100 miles – 21.38 kWh/100 km

Tesla Model X: 36.9 kWh/100 miles – 22.93 kWh/100 km

 

Tesla and EPA figures aren’t exactly the same, so for of comparison here are some EPA combined efficiency numbers:

Tesla Model S 75D: 33 kWh/100 miles – 20.5 kWh/100 km

Hyundai IONIQ Electric: 25 kWh/100 miles – 15.4 kWh/100 km

 

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