An Analysis of the True Efficiency of Alternative Vehicle Powerplants and Alternative Fuels 981399
Research continues on a variety of alternatives to the internal combustion engine and gasoline fuel with hopes of reducing emissions and improving transportation efficiency. We summarize the transportation energy problem in the United States and develop and execute a methodology for comparing the true efficiency of competing propulsion technologies and fuels. We compare existing gasoline powered internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to series hybrid electric vehicles (SHEV), battery electric vehicles (BEV), fuel cell vehicles (FCVH2) storing hydrogen onboard, fuel cell vehicles with reformers (FCVR) for gasoline fuel, and advanced natural gas vehicles (NGV). When comparing vehicles of equal performance and when the energy required to create alternative fuels is included in the analysis, purported efficiency improvements of alternatives largely disappear.