Volatility in energy markets has made the purchase of battery electric vehicles (BEV) or hybrid vehicles (HEVs) attractive versus internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). However, the total cost of ownership (TCO) and true environmental effects, are difficult to assess. This study provides a publicly available, user-driven simulation that estimates the consumer and environmental costs for various vehicle purchase options, supporting policymaker, producer, and consumer information requirements. It appears to be the first to provide a publicly available, user interactive simulation that compares two purchase options simultaneously. It is likely that the first paper to simulate the effects of solar recharging of electric vehicles (EV) on both cost-benefit for the consumer and environmental benefit (e.g., carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, non-methane organic gasses, particulate matter, and formaldehyde) simultaneously, demonstrating how, as an example, solar-based charging of BEVs and HEVs reduces carbon emissions over grid-based charging. Two specific scenarios are explicated, and the results of show early break-even for both BEV and Plug-in HEV (PHEV) options over ICEV (13 months, and 12 months, respectively) with CO2
emissions about ½ that of the gasoline option (including production emissions.) The results of these simulations are congruent with previous research that identified quick break-even for HEVs versus ICEV.
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