Electrification Potential Factor: Energy-Based Value Proposition Analysis of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles


Automotive electrification in the past decade was accompanied by infrastructural changes in the electric power industry. The dual fuel (gasoline and electricity) and dual operation (vehicle to grid (V2G) and grid to vehicle) modes of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) make them attractive to the automotive and the electric power industries. The value proposition of PHEVs from consumer and automotive perspectives depends on a number of key indicators, such as fuel economy, emissions, battery lifetime, and incremental premium over a hybrid electric (HEV) or a conventional vehicle (CV). In addition, the value proposition of a PHEV from a utility perspective can diverge or even conflict with the consumer or automotive industry perspective. The traditional distance-based utility factor (UF) is primarily used to estimate the vehicle miles that are electrifiable. In this paper, a novel energy-based electrification potential factor (EPF) is proposed to differentiate between travel miles that are electrified and electrifiable. The EPF also acts as a coupling factor that can be also used to assess the overall benefits and impacts of PHEVs from consumer, automotive industry, and utility perspectives. The EPF is developed using existing transportation survey data and detailed simulations using the Powertrain System Analysis Toolkit (PSAT). For different driving profiles and control strategies (charge sustaining, charge depleting, blended, and all electric), the tradeoffs between driving cost and battery lifetime are analyzed. Specific battery lifetime targets are set, and a baseline HEV is used to compare the driving cost savings of the PHEV before determining the EPF. The viability and usefulness of the proposed EPF is demonstrated through comprehensive vehicular simulations and tradeoff analyses.

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