Toyota, Nissan and Honda agree on details of H2 station support in Japan
Researchers find Nissan LEAF creates less CO2 than Toyota Prius hybrid in west US and Texas, but more in N. Midwest

CMU policy briefs outline benefits and potential for adoption of electrified vehicles in the US

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have published two new policy briefs, along with accompanying videos, about the benefits of electrified vehicles and the potential for their adoption in the US. The briefs condense the findings of a number of recent papers coming out of the CMU group led by Professor Jeremy Michalek.

The first—“Electric Vehicle Benefits and Costs in the United States”—shows that the benefits of vehicle electrification vary based on vehicle type; driving style; climate; how supplying electricity is generated; and time of charge. To achieve the best outcomes, the brief suggests, plug-in vehicle adoption should typically be focused on HEVs and PHEVs by city drivers in mild-climate regions with a clean electricity grid, such as San Francisco or Los Angeles. Further, drivers should not be encouraged to charge at night in coal-heavy regions.

As the electric power grid becomes cleaner, as electric vehicles become cheaper and faster to recharge with longer range, and as policies adjust, electrification may offer benefits across the board, the brief notes.

To achieve energy security, air quality, climate change and economic goals, policies that target these goals directly, rather favoring specific technologies, have the potential to be more efficient in managing the types of variations described here, while avoiding unintended consequences.

—“Electric Vehicle Benefits and Costs in the United States”

The second brief—“Electric Vehicle Adoption Potential in the United States”—begins by noting that electric vehicles can only make impact to the extent that consumers adopt them.

That adoption, however, is affected by a variety of factors including cost, consumer preferences and policy.

So, a variety of factors will affect adoption patterns for electrified vehicles: Mainstream U.S. consumers will need costs to come way down, and high volume production alone isn’t likely to get us there. Limited residential parking suitable for electric vehicle charging may pose a long term limit to mainstream adoption, and public charger investment is an expensive way to save gasoline. Loss of vehicle range in extreme weather regions may also affect regional adoption, and adoption in some regions can lead to higher-polluting fleets in other regions.

—“Electric Vehicle Adoption Potential in the United States”



I'll bet the study gives consumers very little credit for intelligence. The discussion of cost should always include overall cost to own and operate and it is likely that CMU is assuming that no(few) consumer makes that kind of logical analysis. From my view of costs, anything under $23-25K for an EV is a break even and EVs at $22K are a savings for the consumer, depending on average usage. Drivers who do few miles don't save much, driver who do high miles likely can't get a vehicle with the range they need, but those looking for a commuter and who have a medium length commute can save money.

300,000 EVs that replace 10,000 miles of driving per year on gasoline eliminate the need for all that gas. 300,000x10,000= 3B miles at (fleet average) 25mpg = 120M gallons of gasoline eliminated. Or, 330 thousand gallons a day. If we had reached the goal of a million plug-ins by 2015 we would have eliminate the need for more than a million gallons of gasoline a day.


This is a moronic waste of time. It's like telling smokers which brand is going to kill you the slowest.
The answer is to go to EV's and clean up the grid as quickly as possible. Any money spent on stupid studies or anything else should be spent cleaning up the grid if they really want to help.


I incline to agree with you Dave, they're not saying anything new. These briefs are at about the level one could expect from a High School class.But there is no mention of any public or other funding for them, so perhaps we must simply assume it was done at the suggestion of the tutor, as a good exercise.The mistake would appear to have been in publishing this as though it warranted that. Kenny's point about moderate length commutes bears repeating more often though, I think.So-called range-anxiety is all too often quoted, as some sort of red Herring, trying to put people off.

The comments to this entry are closed.