Techno-economic comparison of series hybrid, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell and regular cars
We examine the competitiveness of series hybrid compared to fuel cell, parallel hybrid, and regular cars. We use public domain data to determine efficiency, fuel consumption, total costs of ownership and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from drivetrain choices. The series hybrid drivetrain can be seen both as an alternative to petrol, diesel and parallel hybrid cars, as well as an intermediate stage towards fully electric or fuel cell cars. We calculate the fuel consumption and costs of four diesel-fuelled series hybrid, four plug-in hybrid and four fuel cell car configurations, and compared these to three reference cars. We find that series hybrid cars may reduce fuel consumption by 34%-47%, but cost €5000-€12000 more. Well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions may be reduced to 89-103 g CO 2 /km compared to reference petrol (163 g/km) and diesel cars (156 g/km). Series hybrid cars with wheel motors have lower weight and 7%-21% lower fuel consumption than those with central electric motors. The fuel cell car remains uncompetitive even if production costs of fuel cells come down by 90%. Plug-in hybrid cars are competitive when driving large distances on electricity, and/or if cost of batteries come down substantially. Well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions may be reduced to 60-69 g CO 2 /km.