Electric truck production is increasing as a key strategy to reduce emissions of their automobiles.
Light-duty automobiles, including sedans, SUVs, and pickup trucks, are currently responsible for 58% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2020. Pickup trucks generated 14% of light-duty vehicle sales in the United States in 2020, and the market share of both trucks and SUVs has increased in recent years.
What does pickup truck electrification do for the decarbonization of the transportation industry?
Researchers from the University of Michigan and Ford Motor Co. examined this question in a new study and investigated the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to gasoline-powered pickup trucks. The study was published online on March 1 in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
This is an important study to support climate action. According to research, significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions that can be achieved from transitioning to electrified powertrains across all vehicle classes, according to study senior author Greg Keoleian, an associate professor at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability and director of the Center for Sustainable Systems.
Researchers conducted a cradle-to-grave assessment of the life cycle of pickup trucks and examined the implications of pickup truck electrification to those of sedan and SUV electrification.
Three models-year 2020 powertrain options, including hybrid-electric vehicles, and battery-electric vehicles, were examined, assessing greenhouse gas emissions, owing to differences in fuel efficiency, annual mileage, vehicle production, and vehicle lifetime across vehicle classes.
Battery-electric cars have roughly 64% lower cradle-to-grave life cycle greenhouse gas emissions than internal-combustion-engine vehicles on average in the United States, according to reports.
This study can help us to understand the potential implications of electrification from a climate-reduction perspective, mainly as we introduce new electric vehicles, and how we can continue to accelerate our progress toward carbon neutrality. According to Cynthia Williams, the global director of sustainability, homologation, and compliance at Ford.
As the vehicle size increases, researchers predict that replacing an internal-combustion-engine vehicle with a battery-electric vehicle may result in greater total tonnage of greenhouse gases emissions. This is because of the increased fuel consumption of larger vehicles.
According to the first author, replacing an internal-combustion-engine sedan with a battery-electric sedan saves 45 percent of carbon dioxide equivalent; replacing an internal-combustion-engine SUV with a battery-electric SUV saves 56 percent carbon dioxide equivalent; and replacing an internal-combustion-engine pickup with a battery-electric pickup reduces the carbon dioxide equivalent over the lifetime of the vehicles.
Because of battery production, battery-electric vehicles have higher greenhouse gas emissions in their manufacturing, but this impact is offset by savings in their operations. For battery-electric automobiles and internal-combustion-engine vehicles, the break-even time is between 1.2 and 1.3 years, depending on the average grid and vehicle miles traveled in the United States.
According to Keoleian, this study extends upon previous findings on comparing battery-electric vehicle sedans to their internal-combustion-engine or hybrid counterparts. We analyze emissions for vehicle production, use, and end-of-life phases on a per-mile basis and over the total vehicle lifetime.
We analyzed the regional variation in emissions by examining differences in electricity grid mixes and ambient temperatures, as well as the effects of grid decarbonization on emission reduction.
Vehicle emissions vary in the United States, as vehicles fuel economy depends on different temperatures and drive cycles. For electric vehicles, the greenhouse gas emissions intensity of the local electricity grid is also an important factor. A survey conducted a data to assess the lifetime grams of carbon dioxide equivalent/mile for each powertrain (internal-combustion-engine vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and battery-electric vehicles) and vehicle type (sedan, SUV, and pickup truck) per county across the United States.
Research finds that public concerns about battery-electric vehicles with higher emissions than internal-combustion-engine vehicles or hybrids are largely unfounded, as battery-electric vehicles outperform hybrids in 95 percent to 95 percent of counties, while battery-electric vehicles outperform internal-combustion-engine vehicles in 98 percent to 99 percent of counties, even assuming only modest advancements towards grid decarbonization.
Charging techniques may reduce battery-electric vehicle emissions even further. According to a research, charging during the day with the lowest grid emission intensity might reduce emissions by 11% per capita.
The deployment of electric cars and the expansion of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind should be done at the same time, according to Woody. Each benefit is enhanced by the development of the other.