Title: Electric vehicles: a long-term option only?

Authors: P. Moriarty, P. Wellington

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Monash University, Caulfield Campus, PO Box 197, Caulfield East 3145, Australia. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Monash University, Caulfield Campus, PO Box 197, Caulfield East 3145, Australia

Abstract: This paper examines the future prospects for electric vehicles (EVs) in the OECD region. EVs are generally effective in reducing local pollution and oil consumption, but in some countries they exacerbate greenhouse gas emissions and regional air pollution. Under present conditions, EVs cannot compete economically with conventional vehicles because fuel and maintenance cost savings are too small compared with battery costs. Government policies to mitigate environmental problems will not always favour EVs over conventional vehicles. Even when they do, other alternatives, especially electric public transport and non-motorized travel, will benefit even more. For many years to come, reducing the fuel consumption and emissions from conventional vehicles will also be more cost-effective than introducing EVs. The only niche EVs can hope to fill in the near term will be that for light delivery vehicles.

Keywords: air pollution; comparative costs; vehicle emissions; electric public transport; electric vehicles; environmental policy; greenhouse gases; GHG emissions; oil depletion.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.1996.061889

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 1996 Vol.17 No.5/6, pp.639 - 648

Available online: 28 May 2014 *

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