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Are batteries ready for plug-in hybrid buyers?

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  • Axsen, Jonn
  • Kurani, Kenneth S.
  • Burke, Andrew
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    Abstract

    The notion persists that battery technology and cost remain as barriers to commercialization of electric-drive passenger vehicles. Within the context of starting a market for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), we explore two aspects of the purported problem: (1) PHEV performance goals and (2) the abilities of present and near-term battery chemistries to meet the resulting technological requirements. We summarize evidence stating that battery technologies do not meet the requirements that flow from three sets of influential PHEV goals due to inherent trade-offs among power, energy, longevity, cost, and safety. However, we also show that part of this battery problem is that those influential goals are overly ambitious compared to goals derived from consumers' PHEV designs. We elicited PHEV designs from potential early buyers among U.S. new car buyers; most of those who are interested in a PHEV are interested in less technologically advanced PHEVs than assumed by experts. Using respondents' PHEV designs, we derive peak power density and energy density requirements and show that current battery chemistries can meet them. By assuming too aggressive PHEV goals, existing policy initiatives, battery research, and vehicle development programs mischaracterize the batteries needed to start commercializing PHEVs. To answer the question whether batteries are ready for PHEVs, we must first answer the question, "whose PHEVs?"

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transport Policy.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 173-182

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:17:y:2010:i:3:p:173-182

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    Related research

    Keywords: Plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles Batteries Consumers Environmental policy;

    References

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    1. Axsen, Jonn & Burke, Andy & Kurani, Kenneth S, 2008. "Batteries for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs): Goals and the State of Technology circa 2008," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt1bp83874, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    2. Bettman, James R & Luce, Mary Frances & Payne, John W, 1998. " Constructive Consumer Choice Processes," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(3), pages 187-217, December.
    3. Turrentine, Thomas S. & Kurani, Kenneth S., 2007. "Car buyers and fuel economy?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1213-1223, February.
    4. Bunch, David S. & Bradley, Mark & Golob, Thomas F. & Kitamura, Ryuichi & Occhiuzzo, Gareth P., 1993. "Demand for clean-fuel vehicles in California: A discrete-choice stated preference pilot project," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 237-253, May.
    5. Turrentine, Tom & Kurani, Kenneth S, 2007. "Car buyers and fuel economy?," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt56x845v4, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Petschnig, Martin & Heidenreich, Sven & Spieth, Patrick, 2014. "Innovative alternatives take action – Investigating determinants of alternative fuel vehicle adoption," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 68-83.
    2. Axsen, Jonn & Kurani, Kenneth S. & McCarthy, Ryan & Yang, Christopher, 2011. "Plug-in hybrid vehicle GHG impacts in California: Integrating consumer-informed recharge profiles with an electricity-dispatch model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1617-1629, March.
    3. Axsen, Jonn & Kurani, Kenneth S., 2013. "Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric—What do car buyers want?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 532-543.
    4. Kley, Fabian & Lerch, Christian & Dallinger, David, 2011. "New business models for electric cars--A holistic approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3392-3403, June.
    5. Green, Erin H. & Skerlos, Steven J. & Winebrake, James J., 2014. "Increasing electric vehicle policy efficiency and effectiveness by reducing mainstream market bias," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 562-566.
    6. Axsen, Jonn & Kurani, Kenneth S, 2010. "Anticipating plug-in hybrid vehicle energy impacts in California: Constructing consumer-informed recharge profiles," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt3h69n0cs, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.

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