Energy efficiency trade-offs in small to large electric vehicles

  • Background: As electric kick scooters, three-wheelers, and passenger cars enter the streets, efficiency trade-offs across vehicle types gain practical relevance for consumers and policy makers. Here, we compile a comprehensive dataset of 428 electric vehicles, including seven vehicle types and information on certified and real-world energy consumption. Regression analysis is applied to quantify trade-offs between energy consumption and other vehicle attributes. Results: Certified and real-world energy consumption of electric vehicles increase by 60% and 40%, respectively, with each doubling of vehicle mass, but only by 5% with each doubling of rated motor power. These findings hold roughly also for passenger cars whose energy consumption tends to increase 0.6 ± 0.1 kWh/100 km with each 100 kg of vehicle mass. Battery capacity and vehicle mass are closely related. A 10 kWh increase in battery capacity increases the mass of electric cars by 15 kg, their drive range by 40–50 km, and their energy consumption by 0.7–1.0 kWh/100 km. Mass-produced state-of-the-art electric passenger cars are 2.1 ± 0.8 kWh/100 km more efficient than first-generation vehicles, produced at small scale. Conclusion: Efficiency trade-offs in electric vehicles differ from those in conventional cars—the latter showing a strong dependency of fuel consumption on rated engine power. Mass-related efficiency trade-offs in electric vehicles are large and could be tapped by stimulating mode shift from passenger cars to light electric road vehicles. Electric passenger cars still offer potentials for further efficiency improvements. These could be exploited through a dedicated energy label with battery capacity as utility parameter.
Author:Martin Weiss, Kira Christina Cloos, Eckard Helmers
Parent Title (English):Environmental Sciences Europe
Document Type:Article (specialist journals)
Date of OPUS upload:2022/09/01
Date of first Publication:2020/03/18
Publishing University:Hochschule Trier
Release Date:2022/09/05
Tag:climate policy; e-bikes; e-boards; efficiency trade-offs; electric cars; electric kick scooters; electric light commercial vehicles; electric motorcycles; electric three- and four-wheelers; electric trucks; electric vehicles; sustainable road transport; urban mobility
GND Keyword:Elektromobilität; Elektrofahrzeug
Article Number:46 (2020)
Page Number:17
First Page:1
Last Page:17
Departments:FB Umweltplanung/-technik (UCB)
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 60 Technik
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International