What’s Cleaner, An Electrical Truck Or Plugin Hybrid Truck? It Relies upon…


Some time again, I learn a really fascinating article on The Drive estimating the lifetime emissions of electrical pickup vehicles. They concluded that electrical vehicles had been nonetheless higher than a comparable gas-powered truck, however that the purpose the place the EV truck had saved sufficient power to make up for the additional emissions of producing an enormous honkin’ battery, an excellent chunk of the truck’s lifespan has already passed by. Worse, EV vehicles are loads dirtier than not solely smaller EVs, however typically even the extra environment friendly gas-powered vehicles till virtually 200,000 miles.

One factor that impressed me concerning the article was their use of graphs to make the info very accessible to audiences. It’s one factor to be informed one thing like, “Emissions don’t break even till a number of years in,” however it’s one other factor to see the strains begin on the emissions a car begins with and watch how they take off at totally different angles and even move one another.

However, evaluating a grimy ICE truck to an inefficient EV truck just like the Hummer EV doesn’t inform us that a lot. I needed to do the identical factor the writers at The Drive did, however apply the tactic to comparable vehicles with totally different drivetrains, after which put these vehicles in numerous conditions. To maintain issues as “apples to apples” as potential, I made a decision to match the F-150 Hybrid, F-150 Lightning (BEV), and I created a hypothetical F-150 PHEV primarily based on Hybrid and Lightning knowledge. Hypothetical PHEV chassis weight is stored the identical because the F-150 hybrid, then a 35 kWh battery worth is used to offer 60 miles of vary plus some buffer room for sturdiness. Enhance in EV power utilization on account of carrying round an ICE engine is NOT assumed as a result of extra battery weight was shed in comparison with Lightning than might have been gained with an aluminum EcoBoost V6 and transmission.

It took me quite a few hours to assemble the info and arrange a spreadsheet to arrange all of it and, extra importantly, create graphs to make the info presentable, and on this collection of articles, I’m going to try my findings.

Earlier than I can do this, I wish to be fully clear so readers cannot solely verify my math, however attempt totally different numbers for themselves in the event that they assume I didn’t do it proper. If someone can do a greater job than me, I’d slightly learn about it see the place I went mistaken than let satisfaction get in the way in which.

Right here’s a hyperlink to the spreadsheet so you may look at it your self. Under, I’ll discover the assumptions and methodology I used so you can also make extra sense of the spreadsheet and both belief me or inform me what I did mistaken with this primary effort.


I took a number of helpful bits of knowledge from the piece at The Drive I linked to in the beginning of this text. Whereas research have provide you with totally different values for manufacturing emissions of autos and battery cells, the authors relied on the very best knowledge they might get from Polestar, and it fell close to the center of the vary of figures that research have proven, in order that they appear to be first rate figures to run with.

The 2 key figures I reused from them had been:

  • 1,000 kg of CO2 emissions per 198 lb of chassis weight (all the pieces however the battery, together with any ICE elements). I decreased this to a per-pound determine for simpler processing (1000 kg/198 lb=5.05 kg CO2e/lb)
  • 98 kg CO2 to provide every kWh of battery on common (research fluctuate on this from 39 to 196 kg of CO2 per kWh of battery, so be at liberty to plug these figures into the spreadsheet your self)

Calculating Emissions Per Mile

Determining how a lot emissions occurred when producing a car is simply step one (and, sadly, one which anti-EV propagandists are likely to cease at). To grasp whether or not a car is really higher for CO2 emissions, you need to take a look at the complete lifecycle of the car. A car can begin with greater emissions and nonetheless win as a result of it produces much less emissions per mile. Finally, the overall emissions of the ICE or hybrid normally move that of the EV, and it’s all benefit from there.

However, to get that determine, you need to take obtainable knowledge like MPG scores, typical miles/kWh used, and so forth., and translate these to kilograms of CO2. Luckily, the EPA makes that tremendous simple with a web based conversion instrument primarily based on their estimations. This was then plugged into the spreadsheet.

To create a hypothetical PHEV, I assumed 90% Lightning emissions and 10% Hybrid emissions for each mile. I do know many EV followers assume that individuals don’t plug PHEVs in, however that normally comes from flawed research primarily based on utilization by workers in firm fleets the place gasoline was paid for however the worker couldn’t be reimbursed for house electrical energy. For regular homeowners, individuals who paid further for a plugin hybrid and should pay for their very own gasoline, producer telematics knowledge exhibits that individuals have a tendency to really plug that in. Additional particulars on this shall be obtainable at a later date as soon as these findings that had been shared with me forward of time are formally launched.

For those who can’t settle for that, be at liberty to dig up your individual knowledge and plug it into the spreadsheet, and tell us about it. No “belief me bro” required.

Including Towing & Residence Photo voltaic Into The Combine

In different tabs, I made a decision to see what it regarded like if folks used house photo voltaic as a substitute of grid charging and see what it regarded like if the truck proprietor spent 10% of their time towing.

For photo voltaic, NREL estimates 40g of CO2e per kWh produced for the lifetime of the common photovoltaic system. That’s .04 kg per kWh, which is very easy to plug into the spreadsheet rather than the EPA figures for common emissions utilizing a kWh of power. So, I did that.

Some research put this quantity decrease than 40g/kWh, however I selected the upper quantity to offer fossil fuels the advantage of the doubt and so they nonetheless lose by a LOT. If you wish to see what decrease figures you could find do to the graphs, be at liberty to do it your self.

For towing, I assumed that point spent doing that will produce double emissions, which was fairly simple to place into the formulation on the sheets with a easy “*2” subsequent to the related 10% determine. For those who’re helpful with Google Sheets, you’ll see what I imply. If not, be at liberty to belief me on this.

In Half 2, I’m going to make use of the strategies described on this article to offer readers some knowledge! In subsequent elements, I’ll therapeutic massage the info from the spreadsheet to place our digital vehicles in numerous conditions, like charging with photo voltaic at house 90% of the time, towing, and each.

All chart pictures offered by Jennifer Sensiba.




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