Total Fuel Cycle Impacts of Advanced Vehicles
Recent advances in fuel-cell technology and low-emission, direct-injection spark-ignition and diesel engines for vehicles could significantly change the transportation vehicle power plant landscape in the next decade or so. This paper is a scoping study that compares total fuel cycle options for providing power to personal transport vehicles. The key question asked is, “How much of the energy from the fuel feedstock is available for motive power?” Emissions of selected criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases are qualitatively discussed. This analysis illustrates the differences among options; it is not intended to be exhaustive. Cases considered are hydrogen fuel from methane and from iso-octane in generic proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel-cell vehicles, methane and iso-octane in spark-ignition (SI) engine vehicles, and diesel fuel (from methane or petroleum) in direct-injection (DI) diesel engine vehicles.