Study Finds PHEVs Will Reduce Net Emissions

SO2 emissions (study image)

In brief: Call it citing the obvious, but a new study shows that plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) reduce overall CO2 and NOx emissions.

The word

Study chart - Net SO2 emissions

A team at Carnegie Mellon University modeled the net emissions in two regional electrical transmission operators from plug-ins. These were extrapolated into different scenarios for future power generation: differing batteyr packs, charging strategies, and fleet percentages of PHEV vs. conventionals.

Compared to a 2005 gasoline fleet efficiency level, the PHEV scenarios (no matter the mix) showed a net reduction of CO2 emissions.

Even given a conventional fleet efficiency target of 35mpg (currently mandated for 2020), PHEVs still show a drop in CO2 emissions compared to conventional engines.

In all scenarios, the PHEVs also showed a significant NOx emissions drop - nitrogen compounds being the largest contributor to smog.

And so ...

So overall, no matter the situation, it appears that plug-in hybrids are net emissions reducers over conventional internal combustion-only vehicles.

Photo credits: Environmental Science and Technology

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