Promoting plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) is one important option to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants for road transportation sector. In 2015, more than 220,000 new PHEVs were registered across the world, indicating a 25-fold growth during 2011–2015. However, more criticizes have been put forward against the current energy efficiency regulations for vehicles that are mostly depended on laboratory measurements. To better understand the real-world energy-saving and emission mitigation benefits from PHEVs, we conducted on-road testing experiments under various operating conditions for two in-use PHEVs in Beijing, China. Our results indicate that air condition usage, congested traffic conditions, and higher loading mass could significantly increase energy consumption and shorten actual all-electric distance for PHEVs. For example, the worst case (14.1 km) would occur under harshest usage conditions, which is lower by at least 35% than the claimed range over 20 km. In charge sustaining (CS) mode, real-world fuel consumption also presents a large range from 3.5 L/100 km to 6.3 L/100 km because of varying usage conditions. Furthermore, various vehicle users have significantly different travel profiles, which would lead to large heterogeneity of emission mitigation benefits among individual PHEV adopters. Therefore, this study suggests that the global policy makers should use real-world energy efficiency of emerging electrified powertrain techniques as criteria to formulate relevant regulations and supportive policies.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics (2015). Statistical communiqué on the 2014 national economic and social development of the city of Beijing. http://www.bjstats.gov.cn. Beijing
Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission (2014). Management approach of new energy passenger vehicle demonstration application of Beijing. http://www.bjxnyqc.org/news/detail/466. Beijing
China Association of Automotive Manufacturers (2016). http://www.caam.org.cn. Beijing
Faria R, Marques P, Moura P, Freire F, Delgado J, de Almeida A (2013) Impact of the electricity mix and use profile in the life-cycle assessment of electric vehicles. Renew Sust Energ Rev 24:271–287
Farrington R and Rugh J (2000) Impact of vehicle air conditioning on fuel economy, tailpipe emissions, and electric vehicle range. National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL/CP-540-28960. Available at https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy00osti/28960.pdf
Fontaras G, Pistikopoulos P, Samaras Z (2008) Experimental evaluation of hybrid vehicle fuel economy and pollutant emissions over real-world simulation driving cycles. Atmos Environ 42:4023–4035
Gao Z, Curran S, Parks J, Smith D, Wagner R, Daw C (2014) Drive cycle simulation of high efficiency combustions on fuel economy and exhaust properties in light-duty vehicles. Appl Energy 157:762–776
General administration of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine of the People Republic of China (GAQSIQ) (2005) GB/T 19753-2005 test methods for energy consumption of light-duty hybrid electric vehicles, Beijing (in Chinese)
General administration of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine of the People Republic of China (GAQSIQ) (2011) GB 27999–2011 fuel consumption evaluation methods and targets for passenger cars. Beijing (in Chinese)
General administration of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine of the People Republic of China (GAQSIQ) (2014) GB 19578–2014 Fuel consumption limits for passenger cars. Beijing (in Chinese)
Gong H, Wang MQ, Wang H (2013) New energy vehicles in China: policies, demonstration, and progress. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Chang 18:207. doi:10.1007/s11027-012-9358-6
He X et al (2016) Individual trip chain distributions for passenger cars: implications for market acceptance of battery electric vehicles and energy consumption by plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Appl Energy 180:650–660
Hu J, Frey C, Sandhu G, Graver B, Bishop G, Schuchmann B et al (2014) Method for modeling driving cycles, fuel use, and emissions for over snow vehicles. Environ Sci Technol 48(14):8258–8265
ICCT (2014) Driving electrification: a global comparison of fiscal incentive policy for electric vehicles. The International Council on Clean Transportation, Washington
IEA (2016) Global EV outlook 2016. International Energy Agency, Paris
IPCC (2014) Climate change 2014: mitigation of climate change (chapter 8 transport). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Karabasoglu O, Michalek J (2013) Influence of driving patterns on life cycle cost and emissions of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicle powertrains. Energy Policy 60:445–461
Ke W, Zhang S, Wu Y, Zhao B, Wang S, Hao J (2017) Assessing the future vehicle fleet electrification: the impacts on regional and urban air quality. Environ Sci Technol 51(2):1007–1016
Marshall B, Kelly J, Lee T, Keoleian G, Filipi Z (2013) Environmental assessment of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles using naturalistic cycles and vehicle travel patterns: a Michigan case study. Energy Policy 58:358–370
Millo F, Rolando L, Fuso R, Mallamo F (2014) Real CO2 emissions benefits and end user’s operating costs of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Appl Energy 114:563–571
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (2016) http://chinaafc.miit.gov.cn/n2050/index.html
Ntziachristos L, Samaras Z (2014). EMEP/EEA emission inventory guidebook 2014. European Environment Agency. eea.europa.eu/emep-eea-guidebook
Paffumi E, de Gennaro M, Martini G, Manfredi U, Vianelli S, Ortenzi F et al (2015) Experimental test campaign on a battery electric vehicle: on-road test results (part 2). SAE Int J Altern Power 4(2):277–292
Raslavičiusa L, Starevičiusa M, Keršysa A, Pilkauskasb K, Vilkauskasc A (2013) Performance of an all-electric vehicle under UN ECE R101 test conditions: a feasibility study for the city of Kaunas, Lithuania. Energy 55:436–448
Rugh J (2010) Proposal for a vehicle level test procedure to measure air conditioning fuel use. National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL/CP-540-47273. Available at https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy10osti/47273.pdf
Samaras Z (2013) Toyota Prius PHEV experimental campaign at LAT. Laboratory of applied thermodynamics. Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Greece
Tamor M, Gearhart C, Soto C (2013) A statistical approach to estimating acceptance of electric vehicles. Transp Res C 26:125–134
Tong F, Jaramillo P, Azevedo I (2015) Comparison of life cycle greenhouse gases from natural gas pathways for light-duty vehicles. Energy Fuel 29(9):6008–6018
Tong Z, Chen Y, Malkawi A, Liu Z, Freeman R (2016) Energy saving potential of natural ventilation in China: the impact of ambient air pollution. Appl Energy 179:660–668
Wang H, Zhang X, Wu L et al (2015a) Beijing passenger car travel survey: implications for alternative fuel vehicle deployment. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Chang 20:817. doi:10.1007/s11027-014-9609-9
Wang R, Wu Y, Ke W, Zhang S, Zhou B, Hao J (2015b) Can propulsion and fuel diversity for the bus fleet achieve the win-win strategy of energy conservation and environmental protection? Appl Energy 147:92–103
Wu X, Zhang S, Wu Y, Li Z, Ke W, Fu L et al (2015) On-road measurement of gaseous emissions and fuel consumption for two hybrid electric vehicles in Macao. Atmos Pollut Res 6:858–866
Wu Y, Zhang S, Hao J, Liu H, Wu X, Hu J, Walsh M, Wallington T, Zhang K, Stevanovic S (2017) On-road vehicle emissions and their control in China: a review and outlook. Sci Total Environ 574:332–349
Xiaoxiongyouhao (2016) http://www.xiaoxiongyouhao.com, Beijing
Zhang S, Wu Y, Wu X, Li M, Ge Y, Liang B et al (2014a) Historic and future trends of vehicle emissions in Beijing, 1998-2020: a policy assessment for the most stringent vehicle emission control program in China. Atmos Environ 89:216–229
Zhang S, Wu Y, Liu H, Huang R, Yang L, Li Z (2014b) Real-world fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of urban public buses in Beijing. Appl Energy 113:1645–1655
Zhang S, Wu Y, Hu J, Huang R, Zhou Y, Bao X et al (2014c) Can euro V heavy-duty diesel engines, diesel hybrid and alternative fuel technologies mitigate NOX emissions? New evidence from on-road tests of buses in China. Appl Energy 132:118–126
Zhang S, Wu Y, Liu H (2014d) Real-world fuel consumption and CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions by driving conditions for light-duty passenger vehicles in China. Energy 69(1):247–257
Zhou Y, Wang M, Hao H et al (2015) Plug-in electric vehicle market penetration and incentives: a global review. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Chang 20:777. doi:10.1007/s11027-014-9611-2
Zhou B, Wu Y, Zhou B, Wang R, Ke W, Zhang S et al (2016) Real-world performance of battery electric buses and their life-cycle benefits with respect to energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Energy 96:603–613
This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China’s International Science and Technology Cooperation Program (2016YFE0106300), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91544222 and 51378285), and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC0212100). The authors thank Mr. Charles N. Freed, formerly of the US EPA, for his help in improving this paper, and Mr. Xiong Zhang and Mr. Hongbo Sun of Xiaoxiongyouhao for providing real-world fuel consumption data. Dr. Shaojun Zhang is supported by Cornell University’s David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. The contents of this paper are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the sponsors.
Appendix A CD mode energy consumption distribution of tested trips
Appendix B Key parameters for the reference ICEV model
Appendix C On-road speed corrections of PHEV and the ICEV
Appendix D Calculation method of type-approval electricity and fuel consumption for PHEVs in China
where C is the type-approval GC value, L/100 km; C 1 and C 2 are tested GC values under CD (or CD blended) and CS modes over the NEDC, L/100 km; E is the type-approval electricity consumption value, kWh/100 km; E 1 and E 4 are tested electricity consumption values under CD (or CD blended) and CD modes, kWh/100 km; D e is the type-approval AER tested according to the regulation, km; and D av is the assumed distance of CS mode and is fixed at 25 km (GAQSIQ 2005).
It should be noted that currently China’s type-approval fuel economy for PHEVs only takes the GC (C) of PHEVs into account for evaluations of CAFC and NAFC.
Appendix E Second-by-second SoC conditions as well as the gasoline consumption of a PHEV in three consecutive NEDC certification driving cycles
About this article
Cite this article
Zhou, B., Zhang, S., Wu, Y. et al. Energy-saving benefits from plug-in hybrid electric vehicles: perspectives based on real-world measurements. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change 23, 735–756 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-017-9757-9
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
- On-road test
- Energy consumption
- Driving condition
- Utility factor