Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles for CO2-Free Mobility and Active Storage Systems for the Grid

 

Project duration: 7/2008 - 6/2010
Funded by E.ON ERC (cooperation with Prof. Sauer, PGS)

  Simulation of market share and vehicle population development until 2040 (Source: FCN/N.Neumann, FCN Study Thesis) Simulation of market share and vehicle population development until 2040 (Source: FCN/N.Neumann, FCN Study Thesis)

Combining the electricity supply sector with the road-based transport system is a key element in future energy supply and transportation scenarios, because this linkage offers manifold advantages. The major benefit would lie in a reduction of CO2 emissions through a decrease in oil-based fuel consumption in the transport sector and an increase in electricity generation from volatile renewable energy sources. Electric vehicles will serve as active storage systems in the grid. Given current technology, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) offer the possibility of achieving this benefit at acceptable cost. However, a transition to electric mobility critically depends on consumer acceptance.

In this research project we aim to (1) assess consumer preferences for alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in general and PHEVs in particular and (2) forecast the diffusion of AFVs in the near future. We focus our research on the German market.

Overall consumer acceptance of new technologies like AFVs is driven by the legal framework, economic aspects, technical factors and personality variables, all of which are highly interrelated. Accordingly, we first use behavioral economic and socio-psychological theories to identify the variables that influence consumer decision processes with regard to new technologies and vehicles. Salient variables are (1) vehicle attributes, such as purchase price, maintenance costs, and CO2 emissions per km; (2) governmental framework conditions, such as investment subsidies or CO2 tax remedies; (3) demographic variables; and (4) personality variables, such as attitudes towards the environment. Second, we empirically estimate the impact of these factors on individual vehicle choice decisions by analyzing data from a large-scale customer-oriented survey in a discrete choice econometric framework (FCN Working Paper No. 20/2011).

Our survey results are used to simulate and forecast future adoption and diffusion of AFVs in general, and PHEVs in particular, in Germany under a variety of scenarios in an agentbased simulation model, in which the causal interactions between decisions of consumers and vehicle manufacturers and governmental policies are investigated. These dynamics have a major influence on the development path of a new technology, as have network effects and quality attributes (FCN Working Paper No. 5/2011).

We also determine the economically optimal battery size of PHEVs (Ernst et al., 2011, Energy Policy, 39(10): 5871-5882), and simulate the impact of PHEVs and their usage of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services on electricity generation costs and emissions. Only by taking all these economic, behavioral, infrastructural and social aspects into account, can we identify the benefits and the additional costs faced by all parties. Successful market introduction of PHEVs is achieved only if a win-win situation is created for all sides. The final goal of the project is to use the results to make sciencebased policy recommendations.

Project publications

Ernst C.-S., Lunz B., Hackbarth A., Madlener R., Sauer D. U., Eckstein L. (2010). Optimal Battery Size for Serial Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles: A Model-Based Economic Analysis for Germany, FCN Working Paper No. 14/2010, Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior, RWTH Aachen University, October.

Mazur C., Madlener R. (2010). Impact of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Charging Regimes on Power Generation Costs and Emissions in Germany, FCN Working Paper No. 20/2010, Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior, RWTH Aachen University, November.

Hackbarth A., Lunz B., Madlener R., Sauer D.U., De Doncker R.W. (2010). Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles for CO2-Free Mobility and Active Storage Systems for the Grid (Part 1), E.ON Energy Research Center Series, Vol. 2, Issue 3, December (ISSN: 1868-7415).[Download]

Hackbarth A., Lunz B., Madlener R., Sauer D.U., De Doncker R.W. (2012). Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles for CO2-Free Mobility and Active Storage Systems for the Grid (Part 2), E.ON Energy Research Center Series, Vol. 4, Issue 6, December (ISSN: 1868-7415). [Download]

Supervised student research

Mazur C. (2010). Modeling and Simulation of the Impact of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Vehicle-to-Grid on Electricity Generation Costs and Emissions. Study thesis, Chair of Energy Economics and Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, RWTH Aachen University, April.

Ruschhaupt J. (2010). Entwicklung der Marktanteile von PHEV: Einflussfaktoren auf das Marktgleichgewicht konkurrierender Technologien (Development of PHEV market shares: Factors influencing the market equilibrium of competing technologies; in German). Diploma thesis, Chair of Energy Economics and Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, RWTH Aachen University, August.

Contact

Reinhard Madlener

Name

Reinhard Madlener

Institutsleiter FCN

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+49 241 80 49820

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