Develop models to evaluate the socio-economic implications of a large-scale electrified transportation sector. Model factors include effects of vehicle and infrastructure safety requirements, standardization of vehicle components for safety and charging, electric vehicle supply and after-market economies, displacement of petroleum fuels and impacts of sustainable development (social, environmental and economic).
This project examined and developed integrated sustainability assessment models that include the socio-economic as well as the environmental implications of an electrified transportation sector. In the initial years, four modeling efforts were developed. These models are an integrated sustainability assessment model of electric vehicles, a stochastic cost simulation model for electric vehicles, an electricity mix sustainability model for EVs and a life cycle impact model of alternative fuel options. In the later project time frame, the four modeling efforts were combined into a dynamic simulation model of EV adoption that include a comprehensive cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment including uncertainties that will capture the social, economic, and environmental impacts of EVs. The project resulted in 19 journal publications and presentations to 14 technical conferences.
According to the recent statistics, the U.S. is running out of time to take actions towards realizing a sustainable transportation. Transportation accounts for over one-quarter of the U.S. total energy and over 90% of energy consumption is attributed to petroleum as the energy source. The transportation share of U.S. carbon emissions from fossil fuel consumption is found to be around 30% within the last two decades. Unfortunately, these numbers have not gone down for the last four decades. In this regard, EV technologies have gained a tremendous interest worldwide and considered an alternative strategy for sustainable transportation. The research team focused on seven research areas as follows:
Passenger Vehicles: The state specific carbon and energy footprint calculations of alternative passenger vehicles including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles are completed. In addition to environmental impacts, the social and economic impacts associated with alternative passenger vehicles are also quantified. Optimum vehicle mix in the United States is estimated based on their socio-economic benefits versus environmental impacts. The trade-off among these bottom lines (macro-level economic, social, and environmental aspects) has been analyzed. It was found that Environmental benefits of EVs highly depend on the electricity generation mix.
Electric Vehicles Regional Optimizer and Market Penetration Model: The inherent uncertainty in optimizing the transportation fleet and predicting the future market penetration of EVs were addressed by developing two novel integrated models: the Electric Vehicles Regional Optimizer (EVRO) and Electric Vehicle Regional Market Penetration (EVReMP). Using these two models, decision makers can predict the optimal combination of drivetrains (gasoline, plug-in hybrid EVs, gasoline extended-range EVs, and all-electric EVs) and the market penetration of the EVs in different regions of the United States for the year 2030. Additionally, using an Exploratory Modeling and Analysis method, the uncertainties related to the life cycle costs, environmental damage costs, and water footprints of the studied vehicle types are modeled for different U.S. electricity grid regions. The benefit of implementing the developed EVRO model is that decision makers can explore the most appropriate combinations of electric vehicles of all types vs. internal combustion engine vehicles based on their judgment of the importance of society cost vs. environmental benefits costs. In the case of the developed EVReMP model, decision makers can verify the effects of government actions on future market penetration of EVs. This helps to test different scenarios in order to realize consumer responses to the implemented polices. The developed system dynamics simulation model helps run thousands of scenarios to determine the sustainability impacts of EVs.
Vehicle to Grid technology: Applications of Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology in sustainable transportation were investigated. V2G technologies use idle electric vehicle battery power as a grid storage tool to mitigate fluctuations from renewable electric power sources and to help supply backup power in the event of an emergency. The results indicate that this system can lower the cost of the required grid electricity and provide for a net zero energy building. The results also show that grid electricity consumption for this case can reduce the power used by a conventional building by up to 68%. It was also found that Battery-Electric transit and school buses have larger battery capacity than passenger vehicles, making them more feasible candidates for V2G service. There is an enormous potential to neutralize operation related emissions by the use of V2G service for school buses and delivery trucks.
Class 8 heavy-duty trucks: A hybrid life-cycle assessment method was used to analyze and compare alternative fuel-powered Class 8 heavy-duty trucks (HDTs) with conventional trucks. The results show that battery electric HDTs outperform all other types of trucks overall, despite their incremental costs and electricity generation-related emissions. If electricity is generated from renewable energy sources, the use of BE trucks would significantly improve the life-cycle performance of the trucks as well as ambient air quality.
Delivery trucks: Due to frequent stop-and-go operation and long idling periods when driving in congested urban areas, the electrification of commercial delivery trucks offer a savings opportunity. In this research, environmental impacts of various alternative fueled delivery trucks including battery electric, diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, and compressed natural gas trucks were analyzed. The analytical results show that although the battery electric delivery trucks have zero tailpipe emission, electric trucks are not expected to have lower environmental impacts compared to other alternatives. The adoption of alternative fuel trucks can mitigate the environmental impacts, however, the first cost of these trucks is higher than those of traditional diesel trucks. An economic input-output based hybrid life cycle assessment was performed in conjunction with Multi-Objective Linear Programming to evaluate various delivery truck fleet combinations and to provide a comprehensive analysis of fleet performance. The results indicate that when fuel economy is high and annual mileage is low, current diesel trucks are able to fulfill the requirement in both cases with reasonably low costs. Conversely, in scenarios with low fuel economy and high utilization levels, hybrid vehicles are preferred.
Vehicle to Home technology: Due to the great flexibility of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in interacting with the power grid, they can play a significant role in the future of the power system. V2H technologies can utilize idle EV battery power as an electricity storage tool to mitigate fluctuations in renewable electric power supply, to provide electricity for the building during the peak time, and to help in supplying electricity during emergency situation and power outage. This research aims to integrate the use of Vehicle to Home (V2H) technology with an optimal designed building to fulfill the requirement of a Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB). It was found that Vehicle to Home (V2H) technology can drastically reduce the cost of electricity through storing electricity in the battery during off-peak hours and deplete it during on-peak hours.
The benefit of implementing the developed EVRO model is that decision makers can explore the most appropriate combinations of electric vehicles of all types vs. internal combustion engine vehicles based on their judgement of the importance of society cost vs. environmental benefits costs. In the case of the developed EVReMP model, decision makers can verify the effects of government actions on future market penetration of EVs. This helps to test different scenarios in order to realize consumer responses to the implemented polices. The developed system dynamics simulation model helps run thousands of scenarios to determine the sustainability impacts of EVs.
The project resulted in 19 journal publications to date. They are listed below:
Vehicle to Home Technology
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Start date: October 1, 2013