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Media TIp | Argonne National Laboratory

Media Tip: Lower GHGs for fewer Gs: Report shows technology on track to make lower emitting vehicles as affordable — or even more so — than traditional counterparts

What Happened

  • Led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, U.S. DRIVE has assessed the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and costs of a number of light-duty vehicle and fuel combinations — with both current (2020) and anticipated future (2030-2035) technologies.
  • U.S. DRIVE, which stands for United States Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle Efficiency and Energy Sustainability, is a DOE-hosted partnership that includes multiple automotive, energy and utility companies

Why It Matters

  • The report, an update of one first published in 2016, shows for the first time that cost-negative pathways to carbon reduction are possible in the consumer transportation sector.

The Details

  • The so-called cradle-to-grave (C2G) analysis assessed the cost and GHG emissions of light-duty midsize sedans and small sport utility vehicles across a variety of vehicle-fuel combinations, including conventional internal combustion engine vehicles, flexible hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with varying vehicle ranges and fuel cell electric vehicles.
  • Vehicle fuels considered in this study were gasoline, diesel, compressed natural gas, ethanol, hydrogen and electricity. The study accounted for the GHG emissions of both the fuel and vehicle production life cycles and relied on published predictions of the mix of sources that will generate power for the electric grid in 2035.
  • The study indicated that batteries for BEVs will be primarily responsible for lowering costs. The cost of electric vehicle batteries has decreased dramatically over the decade and the trend is projected to continue.

This study shows that vehicle technology advancement is an important enabler of a lower-GHG future, but deep decarbonization requires concurrent advancement in the energy sector,” said report co-author Jarod Kelly, principal energy systems analyst at Argonne.

Read the full report.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.