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Estimates from the GREET model (see Argonne National Laboratory's information on GREET) show that passenger car PHEV10s produce about 29% fewer carbon emissions than a conventional vehicle, when plugged into an outlet connected to the typical U.S. grid. Even when PHEV10s are charged using power generated completely from coal, carbon emissions are about 25% less than those of a conventional vehicle. The use of light truck PHEV10s reduces emissions by 28% when charged on a typical grid and 23% when charged on power generated from coal. The carbon reductions are greater as the length the vehicle can travel on electricity increases.

PHEV10 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which can travel up to 10 miles on electricity alone
PHEV20 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which can travel up to 20 miles on electricity alone
PHEV30 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which can travel up to 30 miles on electricity alone
PHEV40 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which can travel up to 40 miles on electricity alone
Typical Grid electricity sources are 50.9% coal; 20.1% nuclear; 16.7% natural gas; 11.0% renewable energy; and 1.3% petroleum.

Cargon Reduction Shares by Technology Type
Graph showing the percent of carbon reduction in PHEVs (cars and light trucks) when cars are charged using power generated by all-coal and typical U.S. grid electricity. For more detailed information, see the table below.

 

Supporting Information

Carbon Reduction Shares by Technology Type (Percent carbon reduction from internal combustion engines)
Technology Type Cars Light Trucks
All-Coal Elecricity Generation Typical Grid Electricity Generation All-Coal Electricity Generation Typical Grid Electricity Generation
PHEV10 25.4% 29.2% 22.7% 28.2%
PHEV20 27.0% 33.4% 24.3% 32.4%
PHEV30 28.6% 36.9% 26.0% 35.9%
PHEV40 30.3% 39.8% 27.7% 38.8%

Source: Argonne National Laboratory, GREET model results.

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