Developing a Utility Factor for Battery Electric Vehicles
As new advanced-technology vehicles are becoming more mainstream, analysts are studying their potential impact on petroleum use, carbon emissions, and smog emissions. Determining the potential impacts of widespread adoption requires testing and careful analysis. PHEVs possess unique operational characteristics that require evaluation in terms of actual in-use driving habits. SAE J2841, “Utility Factor Definitions for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles Using 2001 U.S. DOT National Household Travel Survey Data,” published by SAE in 2009 with a revision in 2010, is a guide to using DOT's National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data to estimate the relative split between driving in charge-depleting (CD) mode and charge-sustaining (CS) mode for a particular PHEV with a given CD range. Without this method, direct comparisons of the merits of various vehicle designs (e.g., efficiency and battery size) cannot be made among PHEVs, or between PHEVs and other technologies.