High emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases as well as high dependence on imported fossil fuels are the major problems the passenger vehicle sector has to face today. Another problem is the still low efficiency of passenger vehicles. Electrification of vehicle powertrain systems is therefore seen as suitable approach to face these problems. On the one hand efficiency of vehicles can be increased significantly; on the other hand, the use of electricity as energy carrier can reduce the dependence on fossil energy sources.
The main objective of this project is to analyse powertrain systems with different degrees of electrification from a technical, ecological and economical point of view.
The following powertrain systems were analysed:
- internal combustion engine
- micro hybrids
- mild hybrids
- full hybrids
- plug-in hybrids
- serial hybrids
- electric vehicles
- fuel cell plug-in-hybrids
Furthermore, the necessary framework conditions and the time frame for large scale introduction of electric vehicles will be analysed, as well as the effects of their diffusion on the energy demand and the greenhouse gas emissions of the sector.
Therefore, the effects of the following four parameters were analysed:
- possible development of energy prices (low and high price scenario)
- improvement of technologies in terms of efficiency and costs
- changing political framework conditions (taxes, subsidies…);
- different electricity sources
The main conclusions of this analysis are:
Market share and stock penetration:
The market shares of micro- and mild-hybrids are increasing in all scenarios. This development can be seen as robust and those technologies are therefore likely to become the core of the vehicle fleet in a mid term.
The diffusion of plug-in-hybrids and electric vehicles highly depends on the political framework conditions. Only political intervention can create the conditions that are necessary to make them competitive.
Due to the slow replacement of vehicles within the fleet it will take them at least two decades to reach a critical mass within the entire vehicle stock even if they reach high market shares soon.
The use of electric vehicles causes an additional electricity demand of about 9,2TWh up to 2050
Taking today’s electricity consumption in Austria (state 2008) this would meen an increase by 14,5% up to 2050. The resulting yearly growth rate however would remain below 1%. From 2010 to 2020, due to the small diffusion of electric vehicles, the growth would even be negligible.
Within the same time frame the demand of gasoline, diesel and CNG decreases to 6,1TWh which is a reduction of more than 80%.
Greenhouse gas emissions:
The greenhouse gas emissions of the passenger vehicle sector can be reduced significantly by the use of electric vehicles. Even if the increase in electricity demand in Austria would mainly be covered by fossil sources, greenhouse gas emissions would still be reduced by 50%. If renewable electricity sources are used a reduction by 70% is possible. If the remaining demand of liquid and gaseous fuels would be covered by biofuels a reduction of up to 80% to the state of 2010 is possible.
Findings of the study are published in detail by a final report (German only) which is available online via the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT):