Natural Resources

Natural Resources Forum 25 (2001) 109-120 www .elsevier.codocatdnatresfor

Cars and fuels for tomorrow: a comparative assessment
Max h m a n , Lars J. Nilsson, Bengt Johansson
Uepurtment o Environmenfal and Energy Systems Studies, Lund University. Lund,Sweden. f E-mail: (M. Ahman)

Light duty vehicles, i.e. passenger cars and light trucks, account for approximately half of global transportation energy demand and, thus, a major share of carbon dioxide and other emissions from the transport sector. Energy consumption in the transport sector is expected to grow in the future, especially in developing countries. Cars with alternative powertrains to internal combustion engines (notably battery, hybrid and fuel-cell powertrains), in combination with potentially low carbon electricity or alternative fuels (notably hydrogen and methanol), can reduce energy demand by at least 50%, and carbon dioxide and regulated emissions much further. This article presents a comparative technical and economic assessment of promising future fuelhehicle combinations. There are several promising technologies but no obvious winners. However, the electric drivetrain is a common denominator in the alternative powertrains and continued cost reductions are important for widespread deployment in future vehicles. Development paths from current fossil fuel based systems to future carbon-neutral supply systems appear to be jlexible and a gradual phasing-in of new powertrains and carbon-neutral jluid fuels or electricity is technically possible. Technology development drivers and vehicle manufacturers are found mainly in industrialised countries, but developing countries represent a growing market and may have an increasingly important role in shaping the future. 0 2001 United Nations. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Energy efficiency; Vehicles; Alternative fuels; Sustainable transport; Energy secunty

1. Introduction
Mobility and transport play a central role in achieving social and economic development goals in most countries. The growth of the transport sector has, however, also resulted in increasing negative impacts on the environment [such as emissions of hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NO,), particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO,)], congestion and noise. A near total dependence on oil makes the transportation sector vulnerable to fluctuations in the petroleum fuel market. Concerns for energy security and environmental protection have been the main driving forces for research and development efforts into new vehicle technology and new fuels, but economic restrictions and market trends have so far, in most countries, hindered the introduction and diffusion of fundamentally new vehicle technologies and alternative fuels. While limited oil reserves have motivated the search for alternative fuels for many decitdes, it was the 1973 and 1979 oil crises that focused the world’s attention on the issue of oil dependence. In OECD countries, 97% of the transport sector uses petroleum-based fuels. This sector alone accounts for 54% of the OECD’s overall oil use (Peake

and Schipper, 1997). Light duty vehicles use 49% of the total transport energy demand, trucking uses another 30%, with the remaining 21% divided equally among air, rail and maritime transport (World Energy Council, 1998). North American, Western European and Pacific OECD countries accounted for 64% of the total world energy demand for transport in 1995 (WEC, 1998). By 2020, this fraction is expected to decrease to 53%, with a growing share taken up by non-OECD countries in Asia and the Pacific (WEC, 1998). The major growth in energy demand for transport is projected to come from developing countries (see, for example, Schafer and Victor, 1999). The two oil crises brought about policy interventions in most countries, either in the form of fuel taxes or raised fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, such as the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard in the United States, aimed at improving fuel economy. Considerable research and development efforts were devoted to the development of, for example, electric vehicles and alcohol-based fuels. Studies into possible future scenarios conducted at the time of the oil crises suggested that large-scale exploitation of unconventional oil resources (e.g. tar sands and oil shales) and coal liquefaction technology would become necessary

0165-0203/01/$20.00 0 2001 United Nations. Published by Elsevier Science I,td. All rights reserved. PtI: S 0 16 5 - 020 3 ( 0 0 )0 0 04 8 - 9

size and comfort. but new automobile fuel economy remained roughly constant. Stricter emission standards. to protect their fast deteriorating air quality (Faiz et al. 1996). The prospect of meeting these requirements is important when assessing the long-term potential for the different combinations of fuels and vehicles. acceleration.. Framework for analysing future options The need to reduce health and environmental impacts from transportation is taken as a starting point for the analysis presented here.g. road planning measures. HC. safety. e. Focusing here on vehicle emissions. are among the most polluted in the world. 2. although policy initiatives have occurred mainly in response to industrial competitiveness and a desire to reduce dependence on petroleum fuels (Chapman. in combination with low-carbon electricity and other fuels. Energy use and the associated potential greenhouse gas emissions are the critical factors . 1996. Cities in rapidly motorising countries. Ahman et ul. can make a substantial contribution towards meeting these goals. A shift from today’s internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV) to a new generation of vehicles. low-carbon emissions and affordable prices. will be necessary in developing countries in the future if air quality is to be improved. such as CO. including greenhouse gases. A reasonable benchmark is to meet future safety requirements. there are essentially six strategies for reducing emissions: using demand management to reduce transportation needs (e. rail vs road transport). 1999. 1998). as exemplified by the forthcoming TIER I1 requirements issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). noise limitations. Between 1980 and 1995..I10 M. These strategies are to some extent interdependent. In addition.e. increasing utilisation factors (i. In particular. The automotive industry must also meet consumer demands and preferences for performance and comfort. HC. the automotive industry has substantially reduced exhaust emissions in new vehicles for regulated pollutants. Mexico. NO. Thus. 2. accidents. with the fall of oil prices. thus concentrating on the last two strategies above. Options analysed should be comparable in terms of performance. In the mid-I980s. However.g. Priorities and needs vary between countries and regions. 2000). noise. I.. The need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has promoted increased efforts to develop low-carbon emitting transportation systems. For example. the focus of transport energy policy shifted somewhat from security of supply and fuel economy to environmental concerns. increasingly stringent environmental regulations are to be expected. as illustrated in Fig. Other impacts include land use. The analysis presented in this article. there are emissions from upstream vehicle manufacture and fuel supply. and using alternative fuels or electricity. Future transportation systems must be compatible with multiple policy objectives. between 1970 and 1997.g. in response to progressively tighter environmental regulations. CO. The climate change issue was effectively put on the global political agenda at the I992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and has since received increased attention. as the efficiency improvements were largely absorbed by more powerful engines and heavier cars (Schipper and Marie-Lilliu. etc. Several countries in the fast motorising regions in the developing world. hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV). PM and lead. affordable public transport is essential for increasing access to markets and other amenities for the poor. improving driving behaviour and vehicle maintenance. PM and lead. these gains have been partly offset by increases in total transport demand. I). clean air. 1. although vehicle ownership is significantly lower than in industrialised countries (World Bank. and improve safety (Ericsson. including reliability.and zeroemission vehicles in response to local air-quality concerns. NO.. Reducing air pollution is a goal for both industrialised and developing countries. influence driving behaviour. although in industrialised countries the focus is currently shifting towards COZ mitigation to a greater extent than in developing countries. Anulysing future vehicles und fuels Several fuel-vehicle combinations are technically possible (see Fig. Brazil and Chile. 1999). including battery-powered electric vehicles (BPEV). through regional and city planning and communications technology). closer to standards used in certain industrialised countries. notably Mexico City and Bangkok. 2000). In low-income developing countries. In the last two to three decades. and consumer preferences in terms of speed. reduce emissions. freight and passenger transport doubled in Europe (European Conference of Ministers of Transport. 1999). number of passengers or tonnes of goods per vehicle). 1981). Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. fuel intensity normalised to engine power in new cars fell by approximately 40%. increasing the usage of more energy-efficient and lowpolluting vehicles. Greene and DeCicco. focuses on an assessment of energy-efficient and lowpolluting future vehicles in combination with alternative fuels and electricity as final energy. not least women (World Bank. transport is an important source of air pollution through engine and evaporative emissions of C02. Thus. have in recent years adopted stricter emissions standards for new vehicles and established inspection and maintenance programmes for older vehicles. 1996). such as speed bumps and roundabouts instead of crossings. increasing the relative use of low-polluting transport modes (e. One manifestation of this shift is the California Air Resources Board (CARB) 1990 mandate for various low. / N u t u r d Resources Forum 25 (2001) 109-120 in 2030 to meet projected demand for liquid transportation fuels (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

energy efficiency is a key strategy for mitigating C 0 2 emissions. important features are high yields per hectare and low inputs of energy in cultivation and harvesting. and WA is the useful energy at the wheels. The primary energy efficiency includes the energy used for energy extraction. are also important factors when assessing biomass options. For biomass. the environmental impact and cost of the electricity supply can be calculated using current average power mix. Dotted lines indicate combinations that are possible but not analysed here. This does not.. Fig. HC. the powertrain efficiency is corrected for losses due to the power required for heating and for the benefits when no energy is required during idling and the use of regenerative braking. 2). CO and PM. such as NO. for example. such as nutrient leakage. To analyse the effect of significant long-term changes in the system./ T I Powertrain Losses due to: I Fig. but it is also important to assess the viability of implementation. emissions. From a fueltvehicle technology perspective. soil degradation. vehicle. Ahman et ul. Note: solid lines represent analysed vehicle and fuel combinations. is the primary energy. WC is the energy supplied to the vehicle. W. C 0 2 emissions are currently not regulated anywhere. mean that each consumer should be responsible for emissions or cost from marginal production as the development of the electricity system depends not only on the introduction of electric vehicles but on the increased use of other electric devices in society and the implementation of (or the reluctance to implement) energy efficiency technologies. which depends on factors such as cost effectiveness. Energy eficiency and emissions Vehicles produce a number of emissions. in a strict sense. WBis the energy supplied to the powertrain. and erosion. Fuel supply. 2. Present C 0 2 emissions are inherently linked to the use of petrol and thus also become linked to the overall energy resource policy. Powertrain efficiency Vehicle efficiency Primary energy efficiency Vpowenmin from a resource. The powertrain efficiency is calculated from the efficiencies of the different components included in the powertrain. development path. current marginal power or similar mixes from an assumed future power system. .M. Not only are hard technical measures important. it is reasonable to use a marginal perspective and assume that the electricity consumption. Benefits of regenerative braking . energy security and other socio-economic aspects. environmental and technology perspective and consequently at the centre of the analysis. Most studies analysing the benefits of alternative powertrains have compared only one of the alternatives with the I WD 4 I Energy system WC Losses during: fuel production & distribution I4 I I Vehicle WE Losses from: idling. distribution and storage. buildings and vehicles was not included in the calculations for this article. conversion. Further. To calculate the vehicle efficiency. When comparing BPEVs with other transportation technologies. vehicle efficiency and drivetrain efficiency. Local environmental impact of biomass utilisation. Possible pathways for energy from primary resource to final end use. such as performance. from primary energy source to final energy. 2. technology development prospects.2. 2000). and primary energy efficiency (Fig. the fuel produced should be suitable for use in highly efficient and low polluting powertrains. 1. Definitions of primary energy efficiency. emissions qvehicle = WA/WB = WAIWC qprimary = WA/W. feeding grid electricity to HEV and FCEV. which are regulated pollutants in most countries due to their effect on air quality. however. and efficiency. emissions and cost resulting from the use of BPEVs are the difference in electricity demand. The emissions of regulated pollutants are an important factor when assessing future fuel-vehicle combinations. and resource constraints. /Nutural Resources Forum 25 (2001) 109-120 111 -<------> Primary electricity and cost between an electricity system which includes supply to electric vehicles and a system without this supply (Johansson and Mktensson. can be analysed with respect to energy conversion efficiencies. heating etc. The energy embodied in plants. Energy efficiency can be analysed at three different levels: powertrain.

Primary energy sources and future conversion and vehicle technologies 3. not least in developing countries. 1997. life-cycle costs or cost per passenger-km or cost per vehicle-km become relevant measures (Johansson. A shift away from these fuels is not likely to be resource driven either. DeLuchi and Ogden. including The shift away from oil as the dominant primary resource for transportation fuels is not likely to be driven by resource constraints. for example. Although oil is the primary resource for nearly all transportation fuels today.3. occurrences of oil already known and under exploitation can cover the total global demand likely to occur in the 21st century (Rogner. 1996). methods have to be used that include all these impacts. Development paths The perceived potential for attaining specified goals usually determines which technology is to be developed. comparing HEVs with ICEVs. 3. where oil imports as a share of export earnings may be 20-40% or even higher (Rogner and Popescu. These indicators should preferably include not only direct vehicle and fuel costs but also indirect costs. hydrogen and electricity) for future vehicles. near-zero emission of both regulated pollutants and greenhouse gases can be achieved with electricity and hydrogen as energy carriers i n BPEVs and FCEVs respectively. 2. if it tends to increase import dependence. 1992. technical breakthroughs and changing consumer preferences. Cuddy and Wipke. in geological formations or in the deep ocean (Williams. .. 2000). A reserve to consumption ratio of about 45 years is often cited. calling for careful policy interventions to monitor development. 1998. for example. but for governments. Fossil fuels can be converted to attractive energy carriers (such as dimethyl ether.I12 M . facilitating near-zero or zero tailpipe emissions of regulated pollutants. Although these potentials may be reduced by economic. future business opportunities are crucial. The consequences of new flows of materials due to new technologies have to be analysed as well as the risks involved in depleting scarce resources. their consequences for policy and technology. other issues. they start out at a high level. Amann. When different energy carriers with different losses in fuel production and distribution are used. tar sands and heavy crude oil. especially in terms of the choice of fuel infrastructure. Wang and DeLuchi. for example. for example. rolling resistance (friction between the wheels and the ground proportional to speed). especially if this resource is geographically concentrated. Furthermore. Road loads are comprised of approximately one-third each of aerodynamic drag resistance (friction from air proportional to speed squared). Although several uncertainties remain. or if it is sensitive to environmental changes or other risks. Large-scale use of a new technology may deplete resources not in demand today or create new environmental problems caused by the circulation of new materials in the technosphere (Karlsson et al. 1996). air quality. 1993. by using cost per unit of CO? reduction as an indicator. If the measures have an impact on several environmental problems. being mainly energy losses from braking proportional to speed squared and a function of the driving cycle (see. Thus.1. Technology flexibility will be important in order to meet and anticipate new knowledge. for example. analysing the energy losses all the way from the well to the wheel becomes necessary (see. Available development paths need to be thoroughly understood and evaluated. Cost effectiveness When analysing the cost effectiveness of different technologies within the transportation sector. including oil shale. DeCicco and Ross.6. focusing on fuel economy). such as environmental costs. 1999). methane. social equity and energy security are equally important. 2. 1992). Import dependence is a major issue. In particular. 1993). and kinetic energy. Ecotraffic. Further improvements in energy efficiency can also be made by reducing road loads. natural gas and coal can also be used. Energy security Security of supply has been the main driver in the search for alternative fuels. For actors on a free market. 2. From the perspective of security of supply. This can be done by separating out the carbon dioxide and sequestering it. the risk of lock-in effects and the consequences of pathdependence need to be taken into account (Cowan and Hultin. based on primary energy sources other than oil. The total resource base divided by present consumption is close to 600 years for gas and more than 2000 years for coal. security and environmental considerations. when designing environmental policies across different sectors. 2000). Resource constraints and environmental risks The risk of creating a new problem while solving another should be borne in mind. and divided by present consumption.4. When comparing powertrains using the same energy carrier (petrol) there is no need to consider the primary energy efficiency (see. it is important to relate the cost to the environmental impact of the strategy. it is technically possible to recover and use the energy content of fossilfuels while preventing carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. the ratio is about 230 years. 1998. new fuels should not rely on a single primary resource. Ahman et al. 2000). New vehicles and fuels may eventually exclude other technologies. Amann. in addition to increasing powertrain efficiency. Primary energy and conversion technologies 2. In particular. / N a t u r a l Resources Forum 25 (2001) 109-120 conventional powertrain. but if the total resource base is taken into account. methanol.5. such as global environment.

acceleration. Modem renewable energy technologies can convert these flows into attractive fuid fuels and electricity for transportation. even with carbon sequestration (Williams. also it is less flexible i n terms of its primary resource. than making it from fossil fuels. offering the advantage of flexibility concerning primary resource. hydropower. such as rape seed. although the potentials may be constrained by competition over land use or environmental. 1999. The lower cost targets seem unrealistic unless technical breakthroughs make new production technologies available (NRC. HEVs and FCEVs are analysed for typical medium-size passenger cars that. corresponding to 75% of present global energy use or more (Roper. 1997. An analysis of the potential future performance of ICEVs is included for comparison. The most promising renewable source of primary energy for fluid transportation fuels is biomass. 1999). targeted at improving efficiency at partial load. cultivating perennial cellulosic energy crops typically results in lesser environmental impacts than annual crop cultivation. 1998. National Research Council. they can be produced from a variety of feedstocks. HEVs with an IC-engine can also benefit from most of these efficiency gains. such as variable valve timing. typically have less favourable energy balances (i. Vehicle technology Future powertrain technologies for BPEVs. fuels that can be used in efficient and low-polluting thermal engines or fuel cells. The potential longterm contribution from biomass to world energy is high: on the order of 300 exajoules per year. Ethanol from sugar-rich or starch-rich plants is a wellestablished technology. Internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV) There are a number of possible options for improving the mean efficiency in an ICEV. and various liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons suitable for transportation. wind. 3. 1993). The electric drivetrain has attained the technical requirements for market introduction. at least in the foreseeable future. 1999). Further. partly due to the intensive farming required (Johansson. energy output as fuel divided by energy input in cultivation etc. including fossil fuels. methane from anaerobic digestion) from various organic wastes is a promising fuel.g. Thermal gasification offers a relatively high efficiency conversion route from cellulosic biomass to methanol and hydrogen. in principle. It follows. 2000). Low or negative cost biomass in various waste streams are likely to be used first. The only option not to be fully utilised in a HEV is variable compression. the resulting fuel offers few advantages over diesel in terms of efficiency and emissions. One reason is that electrolysis and subsequent transport and storage involve considerable conversion losses. or solar). biomass-based transportation fuels should be produced with efficient processes that use.e. Cost targets for market introduction differ between US$11-2O/kW (Donitz. In addition. thus facilitating a gradual phase-in process. 1993).2. Ethanol from sugar cane in favourable climate conditions is more promising. or nuclear power. offer the same performance as present conventional cars in terms of speed. Conversion of solar energy to electricity in photovoltaics and electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen is often advanced as a promising option. variable displacement and continuously variable transmission (DeCicco and Ross. particularly in the case of typical starch- rich plants suitable for temperate climates. In addition. as illustrated by the Brazilian PRO-ALCOOL programme. The available flow of renewable energy is several thousand times greater than present global energy use. The gasification process is relatively insensitive to the quality of the feedstock. In order to be competitive. Most of the improvements listed above are well known technologies . but it depends on the availability of relatively limited waste streams since using dedicated crops for biogas production is less efficient and less economical than pursuing other conversion routes. Xu. often in inefficient and polluting ways. 1999). that there is no primary resource constraint on increasing its use. shut off during idling. account for about three-quarters of this total. The common denominator for all alternative powertrains studied here is the electric drivetrain.16% of world energy use in 1998. Medium-term cost projections suggest large-scale production costs for currently advanced electric drivetrain technology at US$20-25/kW (Delucchi. the fuel produced should be suitable for use in highly efficient and low polluting powertrains. residues or biomass produced with high yields per hectare and low inputs of energy in cultivation and harvesting. 2000). is likely to be more expensive. 1998). 1999). Ethanol production from cellulosic biomass (e. Ethanol was not included as a potential fuel in this comparative analysis since it has no clear cost or efficiency advantages over methanol. In addition. 1996). /Natural Resources Forum 25 (2001) 109-120 I13 Renewable energy sources supplied 1I . Biogas (i. and less suitable for use in FCEVs (Johansson. producing hydrogen through electrolysis of water using primary electricity from renewables (for example. Traditional use of biomass. size and comfort. 3. as a feedstock.M. economic and other considerations.. Esters from oil-rich plants. consisting of an electric motor and power electronics for control. wood) through hydrolysis techniques may also become cost competitive in the future (Wyman et al. However. 1996). but its cost remains a major barrier (Chan and Chau.Ahman et al. but thc economics and energy yields are not convincing.) than other biomass-based fuels.e. before more costly dedicated energy plantations arc widely used. etc (Borjesson. higher compression ratio.2. Biomass can be converted into electricity. Methanol and hydrogen are perhaps the most promising biomassbased fluid transportation fuels that can be considered and are the only ones included in the present analysis. and may even ofler environmental benefits in terms of reducing nitrogen run-off.1. therefore. NRC.

/Natural Resources Forum 25 (2001) 109-120 and could become available on the market with the next generation of vehicles. Future projections for NiMH currently project a large-scale production cost at US$200-250/kWh (Lipman. However. and a fuel tank. Cost projections for long-term..000 per vehicle (Amstock.2. but can easily use methanol or ethanol.2.3.. . 3. 1998a. 1999). 1999). Ahman et al. 1998. 1998a). 1998). 3. 2000). One of the major advantages of the BPEV is that it produces no tailpipe emissions. The most interesting fuel cell for automotive purposes is the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. This fuel flexibility is a benefit as is the fact that the vehicle uses the same fuel infrastructure as the ICEVs.3.. as emissions are produced at the power plant. and therefore controlling C 0 2 emissions will be the key challenge to developing a sustainable transportation system. Rogner. but it can be introduced gradually. The main barrier to introduction of the BPEV is that the range attained with currently available batteries is too short and the price is too high for this technology to be competitive on the market. exclude diesel engines as an alternative (NRC. Largescale use of BPEVs would require a new electric infrastructure. large-scale production of the fuel-cell system range between US$50-300/kW (James et al. or takes over the drive from the electric drivetrain when the battery is discharged.2. 1997). 3. which requires a new fuel infrastructure and a complicated hydrogen storage facility on board the vehicle. large-scale use of methanol or ethanol 3. The cost of this infrastructure could be high. 1999). Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) In the HEV. The standard of the California zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) can only be met by BPEVs and FCEVs. examples are Toyota Prius and Honda Insight..2. but serial production of developed FCEVs. Serial production based on current state-of-the-art FCEVs will begin at the earliest in 2004 (Daimler-Chrysler. 2000). lithium-ion. In order to be able to use existing infrastructure and storage technology. an electric drivetrain and a battery are combined with a generator. An important barrier to FCEV development is the long-term cost of the fuel cell itself. Kalhammer et al. could probably not start until 2010. 1999). Energy ejiciency and emissions Studies show that future vehicles can meet more stringent emission standards. Using a ‘hydrogen carrier’ lowers the energy efficiency and adds to the weight and cost of the vehicle. Energy and Environmental Analysis Inc. The two hybrid powertrains and the fuel-cell powertrain driven by methanol have approximately the same efficiency. could give the BPEV enough range. IC-engine. would require a partly new fuel infrastructure (Wang et al. 1997). Powertrain and vehicle ejiciency Powertrain and vehicle efficiencies are given in Fig. in the future. It is reasonable to assume that all vehicles studied here can meet future standards as exemplified by Tier 11..1. 1999). 1997. lithium metal-polymer and NiMH batteries. 1997. Fuet-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) The main advantage of the FCEV is its potential for highenergy efficiency and tailpipe emissions consisting only of water vapour. such as home charging appliances and public fast-charging stations. 1998. The HEV uses petrol. NRC. fully exploiting their potential. 1998). ’ See Ogden (1999) for a more elaborate discussion of this aspect.. but the realisation of this technology is highly uncertain. The battery driven powertrain reaches the highest efficiency. Leadacid batteries are relatively cheap. but have poor energy storing capacity and could provide an interim solution until long-term lithium or NiMH batteries become cost-competitive. ’ 3.114 M . 1998.g. Advances in recent years have made the PEM fuel cell technically competitive. California Air Resources Board (CARB) (2000) does not consider cost a major obstacle to an eventual large-scale BPEV deployment in California. New IC-engines will have to manage both low emissions and high efficiency which might. can be reformed and used on board the vehicle instead. New battery technology. Toyota claims that the company will make no loss at the end of the Prius production series. but the question remains whether batteries will reach the cost target of US$lSO/kWh (NRC. Battery powered electric vehicle (BPEV) The BPEV consist of an electric drivetrain with a battery as energy storage. The IC-engine charges the battery. The only batteries thought to have a possible long-term potential below US$lSO/kWh are leadacid and lithium metal-polymer batteries (Rand et al. 1997). auto manufacturers prefer reforming methanol or petrol on board the vehicle instead of using hydrogen directly (see conclusions in Kalhammer et al. The actual cost of HEVs are not disclosed.. St Pierre et al. e. 150 miles. a ‘hydrogen carrier’. an internal combustion engine. Appleby. So far. Petrol. for introduction on the market. and with some effort also hydrogen. like methanol or even petrol. however. some further development is needed to integrate the system (Kalhammer et al. The technology for HEVs with advanced and energy efficient TC-engines is available on the market today.OOO20. but it is a fair assumption that the HEVs available on the market today are not yet profitable for the companies producing them.. but admits initial losses of US$lS. such as Tier I1 (Egeback et al.4. The fuel cell still needs considerable development in order to bring costs down to a competitive level of US$SO/kW (NRC. BPEVs may also be integrated into the electricity grid and used for load management (Kempton. methanol or natural gas can be used as transitional ‘hydrogen carriers’ during the interim before a hydrogen infrastructure has been established. An important feature of the fuel-cell system is that it uses pure hydrogen for fuel..3. 3.

the BPEV has the highest primary energy efficiency in the long term. as vehicles using alternative powertrains can only partially utilise engine heat losses for this purpose. One reason for this. are already economically competitive to petrol and diesel today in city traffic. This aspect is included in the present evaluation. apart from the high BPEV efficiency. Source: Derived from Ahman (1999). Cost effectiveness Alternative fossil fuels. . A disadvantage for the electric drivetrain is the use of electricity for accessories. 1996). HEVs with advanced IC-engines are twice as efficient as the conventional vehicles of today. while maintaining overall comfort and vehicle performance. e. however. BPEV fuelled with electricity from natural gas powerplant. Ahman et al. FCEVs have lower efficiencies than HEVs due to losses when converting natural gas to hydrogen or methanol. there is considerable potential for improvement in the conventional powertrain. resulting in approximately the same reductions in fuel consumption (Ahman. The advantage with regard to the emission of COz is even higher due to lower carbon contcnt per unit of energy for natural gas compared to petrol. 4. as they incur no idling losses and benefit from regenerative braking. /Natural Resources Forum 25 (2001) 109-120 1 I5 60 50 30 25 20 - BFossil fuels 7 40 15 30 10 20 10 5 0 0 Fig. Fig.3. The primary energy efficiencies for vehicles using energy carriers based on biomass tire given in Fig. Finally. the primary energy efficiencies for vehicles using primary electricity are given in Fig. Hydrogen for the fuel cell is produced through electrolysis of water. Primary energy eficiericy Primary energy efficiencies for energy carriers based on fossil fuels are given in Fig. Of the alternatives studied. 5. For this reason. Primary energy efficiency from fossil fuels. and lighter vehicle overall weight. 1999). Powertrain and vehicle efficiencies. 3. such as natural gas. Further efficiency improvements.4. 4. interior heating. Much larger reductions may be possible in the longer term (Lovins. Source: Derived from h m a n (1 999). 6. is the conversion loss when producing liquid and gaseous fuels from biomass. The principal strategies for this involve diminishing the vehicle’s frontal area and the use of aerodynamic designs. not affecting the choice of future fuel-vehicle combinations. The BPEV has the highest potential for primary energy efficiency. 1999).2. easier to store than electricity and may be a more practical energy carrier than electricity in a very longterm scenario. but vehicles using electric drivetrains show a small relative advantage cornpared with vehicles using conventional powertrains. About 30% of the energy is lost when converting electricity to hydrogen and back to electricity again in the FCEV. The most competitive. if environmental costs are considered (Johansson. Such measures can reduce road loads by roughly 30-40% compared to standard ICEVs today. 3). Hydrogen is. HEV with ICE. 1996).M. There is only a minor difference between vehicle efficiency und powertrain efficiency (see Fig.g. can be achieved by reducing road loads. The fuel-cell powertrain is about 20% more efficient when fuelled with pure hydrogen gas than with methanol. FCEV with hydrogen derived from natural gas. 3. The various HEVs and FCEVs all have similar efficiencies. The efficiency of producing primary electricity is set to 100% for all the alternatives. In this case only BPEVs and FCEVs were considered. using hydrogen produced with solar energy. The future cost of biofuels is principally governed by the price of the feedstock (Pilo. slimmer wheels. the most efficient alternative would be to use the electricity directly in a BPEV. Furthermore. The fossil fuels used are assumed to be crude oil or natural gas for fluid fuels and natural gas for marginal electricity generation. 3.

in order for biomassbased fuels from cellulosic feedstocks to become really competitive. 6) and extra costs. 1999). be significantly more expensive than hydrogen or other fuels from biomass and fossil fuels (Ogden and Nitsch. 1993). Source: Derived from Ahman (1999). an increased valuation of C 0 2 emissions in combination with the development of more cost-effective fuel production will be required (Johansson. International Energy Agency/Automotive Fuels Information Service. 1999). BPEVs and FCEVs (DeLuchi and Ogden. such as fuel-cell. Maintenance costs and length of serviceable life are other important factors that affect life-cycle costs. final conclusions regarding these effects are difficult to draw at present since only a small number of alternative powertrain vehicles are on the road in normal use. USABC: United States Advanced Battery Consortium. Cited cost targets for crucial components.I16 M . Some studies suggest that these factors will act to the advantage of HEVs. ' ' ' . 1999). However.. Even with major cost reductions. 1999. even with major cost reductions in all technologies involved. Source: Derived from Ahman (1999). Grondalen. Solar electricity has enormous global potential. Thus. The value of these lower costs is. However. not sufficient to allow for more than a few percent (less than 10%) increase in investment costs for such vehicles (Johansson and Ahman. thus making further cost reductions necessary in order for alternative vehicles to become fully competitive (Delucchi. However. The conversion of electricity to hydrogen causes both efficiency losses (Fig. however. HEVs fuelled with methanol and FCEVs fuelled with hydrogen derived from biomass. It is assumed that alternative powertrains will only come on the market if they meet commercial cost criteria. For production of ethanol from sugar cane in Brazil. 2000). see. 60 1 I 50 40 Primary electricity 30 20 10 0 Fig. 1998). The same goes for fossil-based electricity. as their energy efficiency is higher and emissions are lower.and electric battery drivetrains. Primary energy efficiencies from primary electricity. 5. 1997. Intemational Energy Agency/Automotive Fuels Information Service. FCEV fuelled with hydrogen derived from electrolysis of water. it seems very difficult for BPEVs to compete economically with ICEVs or HEVs (Johansson and Ahman. for most OECD countries. In countries where biomass can be produced at a lower cost. 1994. the cost-effectiveness of renewable fuels is generally better and other feedstocks can compete with cel ~ o s e . but major cost reductions are necessary for it to become competitive. Solar hydrogen will. * Renewable electricity in BPEVs provides an opportunity to lower energy and environmental costs (Johansson and Mhtensson. are cellulosic feedstocks (Reddy et al. 1999). cost reductions are necessary for all alternative powertrains today. PNGV: Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles. for example. Primary energy efficiency from biomass. 1998b). Both HEVs and FCEVs will have lower energy and environmental costs than ICEVs. Reddy et al. since the difference in production costs between fossil fuel based electricity and renewable electricity (a difference that continues to decrease) has only a minor effect on the life-cycle costs of BPEVs. Long-term cost targets are based on lifecycle cost analysis considering that the higher purchase price is offset by a lower per mile energy price (National Research Council (NRC). 2000). used in this analysis are mainly those stated by PNGV' and USABC4 The commercialisation targets are cost reductions considered necessary by auto manufacturers and analysts in order to make market introduction possible. the cost targets have been criticised for not being ambitious enough. 6. Ahmun et ul. but the high battery cost is a major barrier. (1997). / N u t u r d Resources Forum 25 (2001) 109-120 30 %1 1 Fig.

which would provide a startup market for batteries (CARB. assumed to be used in the leadacid batteries (see. sharing critical components. but zero tail-pipe emission can only be met by BPEVs and FCEVs. The only batteries that at present seem likely are the lithium based ones. then there seems to be no long-term resource constraint for platinum for fuel cells (Ride. This issue has also received increased attention due to the high cost of scarce metals. As both batteries and electric drivetrains become less expensive. and energy-resource flexibility. For commercial competitiveness. i n particular the lithium-polymer battery. on a trajectory towards new vehicles with high primary energy efficiency.g. 1995. Developing such a battery requires further basic research.g. 1997). Socolow and Thomas. this may force BPEVs or FCEVs onto the market. l e a d k i d battcries could be the lowest-cost alternative. which is a scarce metal. the BPEV depends on a low-cost battery with high specific energy. New vehicle fuels. In thc mid-1990s there was a heated debate as to whether large-scale introduction of BPEVs would cause environmental damage from circulating into the technosphere large amounts of lead. It is uncertain which technology will eventually have the greatest potential for market breakthrough. through development and deployment. The most transparent cost assessments suggest that it is possible to reach a competitive cost. or electricity. Both the FCEV and the BPEV need further research before wide-scale market introduction will be possible. lithium-ion or lithium-polymer batteries as long-term options. with a major challenge being cost reduction. lead and nickel respectively. From this perspective. NiMH or lithium batteries may well fulfil the requirements for smaller sized BPEVs with limited range. 2000). as they see a greatcr and more immediate market potential (Anderman et al. The problems with metal leakage etc. The different powertrains will compete with each other but can also be seen as complementary.M. Ahman et al. Honda Insight). in press). but the debate has emphasised the importance of recycling systems for large-scale use of metals (Socolow and Thomas. However. this would transfer more load variations to the electric drivetrain and thus increase vehicle efficiency. and to some extent technical breakthroughs (notably for the BPEV). fuels should be flexible with respect to primary energy source and suitable for use in vehicles developed in both the near and long terms. . The FCEV is in a slightly different position. they are less likely to suffer from the price volatility seen for oil-based SULEV: Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle. Lithium. leaaacid. 1995. is the key factor to the success of alternative vehicles.6. Kellog. the common denominator for these alternative powertrains. The ICEV does not have the same potential for high energy efficiency. Energy security and socio-economic considerations. provided that critical technical improvements or breakthroughs are made. but it is not an attractive long-term option for a BPEV and has only smnll benefits over leadacid as an HEV battery in the medium term. seem to be manageable. if the metal intensities estimated for costcompetitive solutions are reached. will determine whether alternative powertrains will become competitive with the ICEV. It is thus reasonable to keep the door open for both alternatives. 6 ) . leadacid or NiMH batteries may come into large-scale production if they meet targeted performance. Future cost reductions. BPEVs have a somewhat higher overall primary energy efficiency than FCEVs. The buy-down of cost for the electric drivetrain. but the difference is small except when energy comes from primary electricity (Fig.. Resource constraints and environmental risks Many of the components in alternative powertrains contain rare or toxic metals. Lave et al. e. The PEM fuel cell is expected to be technically competitive within a couple of years. with NiMH. However. for example. For HEVs. such as reducing the need for platinum. Methanol and hydrogen are fuels that can be used in ICEVs and in many thermal engines for HEVs as well as in FCEVs.7.5. low or even zero tailpipe emissions. HEVs with petrol or alcohol fuels can meet California’s SULEV5 requirements (e. low emissions and resource and technological flexibility. Development paths The rationale for developing alternative powertrains is the search for high energy efficiency. NiMH can fulfil the requirements of an HEV. The gradual shift from oil to renewable energy as a dominant source of fuel for transportation involves phasing in new fuels and new vehicles at the same time. The current HEVs have a relatively large IC-engine with a small battery because of high battery cost. Preferably. Major battery manufacturers today are shifting their focus away from BPEV batteries to HEV batteries. the least costly way of deploying the electric drivetrain is in HEVs with IC-engines. the most sensitive technologies are the batteries for BPEVs and the fuel cells. can be based on domestic resources in many countries. this would utilise large quantities of lithium. If California and other states maintain the ZEV (zero-emission vehicle) mandate. Currently. thereby avoiding lock-in effects determined by fuel characteristics. /Natural Resources Forum 25 (2001) 109-120 117 3. but it can achieve very low tailpipe emissions and it i s relatively flexible with respect to fuels. Even if imported.. the IC-engine can be reduced in size from 60 kW to optimally 20-35 kW. 1997). 3. Fuel cells currently require relatively large amounts of platinum. 2000). neighbour- hood electric vehicles (NEVs). 2000) or for lithium and nickel for batteries (Ride and Anderson. 3.

The electric drivetrain is a common denominator for hybrid. New vehicle technologies and alternative fuels can help reduce emissions and energy use. However. Countries may require different strategies. by creating congestion and pollution and may effectively crowd out these options. 5. it seems. ' See Moulton and Cohen (1998) for an example from Nepal.6 Policies aimed at reducing vehicle emissions could be linked to industrial development. are promising energy camers for future vehicles. climate and other conditions.g. Ahniun et al.and three wheelers could thus replace high polluting two-stroke engines. Alternative powertrains are able to achieve this while maintaining vehicle size. encouraging domestic producers to adopt more advanced technologies. and battery powered electric vehicles. Vehicles with new powertrains using alternative fuels can cut energy use in half and reach low or near-zero emissions of carbon dioxide and regulated pollutants. The market for technically more advanced and low-polluting vehi- cles is found mainly in urban areas. and this puts them in a position to exert increasing pressure on suppliers to offer technical solutions that may better address their needs and priorities. thus increasing indigenous capacity. where suppliers are facing increasingly tight regulations or other political incentives. /Natural Resources Forum 25 (2001) 109-120 transportation fuels. rather than poor countries. alcohol or natural gas. than in industrialised countries. 1993). . and other fleet vehicles. as illustrated by the case of Brazil (Moreira. and thus at the top of the wish list as people move up the income ladder. Historical improvements in vehicle technology have been invested mainly in more powerful engines and bigger cars. public transport and other non-vehicle measures may be greater in developing countries. high oil prices and increasing environmental concerns. car ownership is often seen as a token of high social status. due to variations in geography. Electricity or alternative fuels such as methanol or hydrogen. mobility and transport are central to socio-economic development. speed and acceleration. The main drivers (markets. speed. Discussion Communications. Europe and Japan. Nevertheless. together with strategic competitive thinking are pushing car manufacturers and governments in the US. Currently. taxis. goods and people. dramatically cut emissions and reduce energy demand. Developing countries represent an increasing share of the market for vehicles and fuels. Domestically produced battery powered two. A viable domestic fuel industry can also serve rural communities. e. having less developed infrastructures. from either renewable or fossil sources. regulation and other policies) and resources (technical and economic) for developing new vehicle technologies are found in the industrialised world: notably. The situation is similar in many developing countries with a large share of various types of vehicles being either produced or assembled domestically or regionally at low cost for a mass market. 4. represent a nexus of technical measures that can reduce air pollution and energy use in the transport sector. The projected growth in car ownership in developing countries shows that these countries will constitute increasingly important markets in the future. fuel-cell. It appears that a flexible transition with a gradual phase-in of new vehicle technologies and alternative fuels is technically possible and. and its development can thus be consistent with other social goals. These fuels may be used first in buses. Cars infringe on the quality of other modes of transportation. Conclusions Combinations of new vehicle technologies and fuels. As a growing and possibly strategically important market for several car manufacturers and fuel distributors. even if the car ends up in gridlock. facilitating the flow of information. lower demands for range. developing countries could formulate demands that will help shape technologies suitable to their specific needs. as analysed here. The main drivers and early markets for new vehicles and alternative fuels are found in industrialised countries. Japan and EU to develop vehicles that use non-petroleum based fuels. North America. Most likely. Similarly. speed and acceleration may help speed the introduction of technologies such as the electric drivetrain. The importance and urgency of regional and city planning. but substantial cost reductions are needed for widespread deployment. The manufacturers are also based in these regions. acceleration and comfort. 2000). In India. the market share for domestically produced two and three wheelers represents 65% of the total vehicle market (Faiz and Aloisi de Larderel. for example. methanolhydrogen and electricity are relatively flexible energy carriers with respect to the primary resource. Developing countries may leap-frog the development in industrialised countries and avoid a dependence on diesel/petrol infrastructure by promoting alternative fuels. new vehicle technology is developed mainly to meet increasing demands of comfort. economically within reach. where purchasing power is higher and air-quality problems greater than in rural areas. although they d o not offer a solution to the many non-technical problems facing the transportation sector. Although much of the advanced technology may be too costly for deployment in developing countries. such as public transport and bicycles. However. improvements in energy efficiency reduce dependence on imported oil. alternative vehicles will cost more than ICEVs and will therefore first be deployed in rich countries.I18 M .

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