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Energies 2011, 4(3), 435-457; doi:10.3390/en4030435
Article

Plug-in-Hybrid Vehicle Use, Energy Consumption, and Greenhouse Emissions: An Analysis of Household Vehicle Placements in Northern California

* ,
,
 and
Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC), University of California, Berkeley, 2150 Allston Way #280, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 December 2010 / Revised: 21 January 2011 / Accepted: 2 March 2011 / Published: 4 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy-Friendly Transportation)
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Abstract

We report on the real-world use over the course of one year of a nickel-metal-hydride plug-in hybrid—the Toyota Plug-In HV—by a set of 12 northern California households able to charge at home and work. From vehicle use data, energy and greenhouse-emissions implications are also explored. A total of 1557 trips—most using under 0.5 gallons of gasoline—ranged up to 2.4 hours and 133 miles and averaged 14 minutes and 7 miles. 399 charging events averaged 2.6 hours. The maximum lasted 4.6 hours. Most recharges added less than 1.4 kWh, with a mean charge of 0.92 kWh. The average power drawn was under one-half kilowatt. The greenhouse gas emissions from driving and charging were estimated to be 2.6 metric tons, about half of the emissions expected from a 22.4-mpg vehicle (the MY2009 fleet-wide real-world average). The findings contribute to better understanding of how plug-in hybrids might be used, their potential impact, and how potential benefits and requirements vary for different plug-in-vehicle designs. For example, based on daily driving distances, 20 miles of charge-depleting range would have been fully utilized on 81% of days driven, whereas 40 miles would not have been fully utilized on over half of travel days.
Keywords: plug-in hybrid; electric drive; charging; energy use; greenhouse gas emissions; household driving behavior; real world data; alternative fuel; battery size; fuel consumption plug-in hybrid; electric drive; charging; energy use; greenhouse gas emissions; household driving behavior; real world data; alternative fuel; battery size; fuel consumption
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Williams, B.; Martin, E.; Lipman, T.; Kammen, D. Plug-in-Hybrid Vehicle Use, Energy Consumption, and Greenhouse Emissions: An Analysis of Household Vehicle Placements in Northern California. Energies 2011, 4, 435-457.

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