Report Number




Transportation; Electric Vehicles


Transportation is a complex, technology-intensive socio-technical system, which needs to be tackled in an integrated manner. Also, transportation as a sector is a significant component of any national economy, and has far-reaching implications both with regard to socio-economic and environmental well-being of the society and within the context of sustainability science. For this reason, sustainable transportation is not only an important field of research within the academia but also an indispensable constituent of a sustainable economy. Therefore, investigating the path to sustainable transportation requires a holistic approach, encompassing the three dimensions of sustainability, i.e. environment, society, and economy. There are several proposals as to how to transition to a more sustainable transportation sector globally, and one of the most promising options is the electrification of vehicles. Hence, it is crucial to look at the electrification of transportation from different angles, and scrutinize different aspects to this matter.

This project developed several integrated sustainability assessment models that include the socio-economic as well as the environmental implications of an electrified transportation sector. These developed models covered a wide variety of means and aspects of an electrified transportation such as passenger vehicles, electric vehicle (EVs) market penetration, electric buses and long-haul trucks, vehicle to grid (V2G) technology that included delivery trucks, and the potential use of electric vehicles as a source of energy both for the grid and homes, i.e. vehicle to home technology (V2H). In the modeling, consideration was applied to stochastic costs, electricity mix sustainability, and life cycle impacts such as environmental, e.g. life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, social, e.g. life cycle health costs, and economic, e.g. life cycle costs. In-depth comparison between electric vehicles and other alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) (incl. hybrid-electric, plug-in hybrid-electric, liquefied-natural gas, compressed-natural gas, biodiesel-powered vehicles) was carried out to investigate the major advantages and/or disadvantages of electrifying different means and types of transportation, e.g. passenger vehicles, transit buses, and long-haul trucks.

The final output was a dynamic simulation models of EV adoption that included a comprehensive cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment including uncertainties that capture the social, economic, and environmental impacts of EVs. Some of the critical findings of this project are as follows: Environmental benefits of EVs highly depend on the electricity generation mix; battery-electric transit and school buses have larger battery capacity than passenger vehicles, making them more feasible candidates for V2G service; there is an enormous potential to neutralize operation related emissions by the use of V2G service for school buses and delivery trucks; battery-electric Class 8 trucks yield important improvements in terms of life-cycle costs, life-cycle emissions, and life-cycle air pollution externalities; buildings and EVs can be considered together in term of energy supply and consumption; and V2H technology can drastically reduce the cost of electricity through storing electricity in the battery during off-peak hours and deplete it during on-peak hours.

Date Published


Local Subjects

Electric Vehicles; Transportation


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection



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