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DOE tool allows consumers to estimate localized upstream greenhouse gas emissions for EVs and PHEVs

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has published a Beyond Tailpipe Emissions Calculator that provides estimates of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with driving an electric vehicle (EV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), including emissions from the production of electricity used to power the vehicle.

The consumer chooses the make, model, and model year of the vehicle and enters the zip code where the vehicle will be charging. Zip code is required because emissions are dependent upon fuels used to generate the electricity, often referred to as the grid mix, which varies by location.

The calculator shows the upstream GHG emissions in grams per mile for:

  • The specified zip code;

  • The average US electricity grid mix; and

  • The upstream and tailpipe GHG emissions for an average new gasoline vehicle.


For PHEVs, results include both upstream and tailpipe emissions.

The tool provides some interesting comparisons. A Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD in Marin County, California, for example, yields tailpipe plus upstream emissions of 60 g/mi, compared to 120 g/mi with the average US electricity mix and 410 g/mi for an average new gasoline vehicle’s total emissions. The same Model Y in Casper, Wyoming has 80 g/mi tailpipe + upstream and 130 g/mi in Phoenix, Arizona.

A Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV racks up 270 g/mi in Marin County, against 320 g/mi with the average US electricity mix, 280 g/mi in Casper and 330 g/mi in Phoenix.


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