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Plug-in Electric Vehicles: A Practical Plan for Progress The Report of an Expert Panel

Plug-in Electric Vehicles: A Practical Plan for Progress, The Report of an Expert Panel, February 2011, School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University

  • “A variety of alternatives to petroleum are under consideration, including biofuels, natural gas, hydrogen, and electricity. Each of these alternatives has benefits and limitations in different applications, and each may have some role to play in the decades ahead. But the requirements for any viable alternative to gasoline are becoming more demanding. Gasoline engines are becoming significantly more fuel-efficient due to innovative refinements, while conventional hybrid engines and advanced diesel engines are increasing their market shares. Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are nonetheless coming to dealer showrooms. General Motors Corporation is offering the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, while Nissan Corporation is offering the 2011 LEAF, vehicles that rely primarily or exclusively on electricity. Some plug-in vehicles are considered “battery electric vehicles” (BEVs), since they rely entirely on electricity (e.g., the LEAF), while others are called “plug-in hybrid electric vehicles” (PHEVs), since they still rely partly on conventional fuels (gasoline and diesel). Both BEVs and PHEVs are called “plug-in electric vehicles” because they are designed to be recharged by plugging into the power grid. Note that a conventional hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), such as the Toyota Prius, is powered by batteries and gasoline but is not considered a PEV because it does not have the plug-in feature…This report examines public policies toward PEVs, taking into account the promise and limitations of PEVs, recent improvements in battery technology, market dynamics, and the proliferation of policies around the world that promote the use of PEVs. Our focus is primarily near term (i.e., 2011-25), recognizing that the transportation electrification process will evolve in stages based on the learning that occurs in the years and decades ahead.”
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