Environmental Assessment of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles Using Naturalistic Drive Cycles and Vehicle Travel Patterns: A Michigan Case Study
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) use grid electricity as well as on-board gasoline for motive force. These multiple energy sources make prediction of PHEV energy consumption challenging and also complicate evaluation of their environmental impacts. This thesis introduces a novel PHEV energy consumption modeling approach and compares it to a second approach from the literature, each using actual trip patterns from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS). The first approach applies distance-dependent fuel efficiency and on-road electricity consumption rates based on naturalistic or real world, driving information to determine gasoline and electricity consumption. The second uses consumption rates derived in accordance with government certification testing. Both approaches are applied in the context of a location-specific case study that focuses on the state of Michigan. The two PHEV models show agreement in electricity demand due to vehicle charging, gasoline consumption, and life cycle environmental impacts for this case study. The naturalistic drive cycle approach is explored as a means of extending location-specific driving data to supplement existing PHEV impact assessments methods.