from traditional internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) to electric
vehicles (EVs) and PHEVs is a critical move in the quest to reduce GHG
emissions, enhance sustainability, and mitigate the economic, environmental,
and social costs associated with automobile use.
commercial fleet market is a key sector in this transition, considering its
substantial contribution to total vehicle miles traveled. PHEVs, with their
ability to operate using either gasoline or electricity, offer a practical
solution for fleets looking to transition to low-emission options without the
range anxiety associated with full EVs.
Advancements in PHEVs
advancements in PHEVs have enhanced their viability for the commercial fleet
market. Significant improvements have been made in battery technology,
powertrain efficiency, and charging infrastructure, among other areas. New
materials and designs have led to lighter, more durable, and cost-effective
batteries. This has increased the electric driving range of PHEVs, reduced
charging times, and lowered their upfront costs.
enhancements have improved the efficiency of energy usage, while new energy
management strategies help optimize the switch between electric and gasoline
modes for different driving conditions. Meanwhile, increased investment in
charging infrastructure has facilitated greater convenience and charging
speeds, reducing downtime for commercial fleets.
GHG Emissions in GGE
quantify the GHG emissions of PHEVs, we can use the GGE measure. This measure
equates the energy content of alternative fuels to that of gasoline.
to the U.S. Department of Energy, one GGE is equal to 8.89 kilograms of CO2.
For PHEVs, emissions depend on the mix of electricity and gasoline used. When
operating in electric mode, the only GHG emissions come indirectly from the
production of electricity, known as well-to-wheel emissions.
the U.S. national average for emissions from electricity generation, a PHEV
could emit approximately 4,500 lbs of CO2 per year in gasoline mode, and around
1,950 lbs in electric mode, assuming an annual mileage of 12,000 miles. This
translates to a reduction in emissions of around 57% when using electricity
instead of gasoline.
and Economic, Environmental, and Social Cost
increased adoption of PHEVs within the commercial fleet market promises
substantial benefits from sustainability and economic perspectives. By reducing
the dependence on fossil fuels, PHEVs can contribute to energy security, reduce
fuel costs, and increase resilience to fuel price volatility. The reduction in
GHG emissions can mitigate the impacts of climate change and improve local air
quality, benefiting public health.
there are associated costs. The production of batteries for PHEVs requires
significant energy and raw materials, some of which are scarce or associated
with problematic extraction practices. Charging infrastructure needs
substantial investment and careful planning to accommodate peak demand without
stressing the grid.
a social perspective, the transition may affect employment in sectors linked to
the internal combustion engine. However, it could also create new jobs in
sectors such as battery manufacturing and charging infrastructure installation
of Annual Production Units
production of PHEVs in the commercial fleet market is expected to increase both
in the United States and globally. This trend is driven by stricter emission
standards, corporate sustainability goals, decreasing costs of PHEVs, and
2030, PHEV production in the U.S. is projected to reach approximately 1.2
million units annually, up from around 400,000 units in 2023. Globally,
production is expected to reach around 7 million units by 2030, up from
approximately 2.2 million in 2023.
growth trajectory may depend on factors such as the pace of improvement in
battery technology, the expansion of charging infrastructure, fuel prices, and
government policies. Potential challenges include supply chain disruptions,
electricity grid constraints, and public acceptance of PHEVs.
offer significant potential in advancing sustainability within the commercial
fleet market. Their ability to reduce GHG emissions, while also offering
flexibility and range, make them an attractive option. However, the transition
to PHEVs must be managed carefully to mitigate economic, environmental, and
social costs. Future production volumes are expected to increase, reflecting a
positive trajectory for PHEVs in the context of a global move towards