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Trade-Offs between Automation and Light Vehicle Electrification

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
June 29, 2020

Weight, computing load, sensor load and possibly higher drag may increase the energy use of automated electric vehicles relative to human-driven electric vehicles, although this increase may be offset by smoother driving. Here, we use a vehicle dynamics model to evaluate the trade-off between automation and electric vehicle range and battery longevity. We find that automation will likely reduce electric vehicle range by 5–10% for suburban driving and by 10–15% for city driving. The effect on range is strongly influenced by sensor drag for suburban driving and computing loads for city driving. The impact of automation on battery longevity is negligible. While some commentators have suggested that the power and energy requirements of automation mean that the first automated vehicles will be gas–electric hybrids, our results suggest that this need not be the case if automakers can implement energy-efficient computing and aerodynamic sensor stacks.

Aniruddh Mohan
Shashank Sripad
Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan
Research Areas
Mobility Systems
Publication Type
Journal Article
Digital Object Identifier
Full Citation
Mohan, Aniruddh, Shashank Sripad, Parth Vaishnav, and Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan (2020) “Trade-Offs between Automation and Light Vehicle Electrification.” Nature Energy 5(7): 543–549.