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

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Energies, Volume 4, Number 3, p.435-457 (2011)



We report on the real-world use over the course of one year of a nickel-metal-hydride plug-in hybridóthe Toyota Plug-In HVóby 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 tripsómost using under 0.5 gallons of gasolineóranged 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.