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Title: Life cycle air quality impacts of conventional and alternative light-duty transportation in the United States

Commonly considered strategies for reducing the environmental impact of light-duty transportation include using alternative fuels and improving vehicle fuel economy. We evaluate the air quality-related human health impacts of 10 such options, including the use of liquid biofuels, diesel, and compressed natural gas (CNG) in internal combustion engines; the use of electricity from a range of conventional and renewable sources to power electric vehicles (EVs); and the use of hybrid EV technology. Our approach combines spatially, temporally, and chemically detailed life cycle emission inventories; comprehensive, fine-scale state-of-the-science chemical transport modeling; and exposure, concentration–response, and economic health impact modeling for ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). We find that powering vehicles with corn ethanol or with coal-based or “grid average” electricity increases monetized environmental health impacts by 80% or more relative to using conventional gasoline. Conversely, EVs powered by low-emitting electricity from natural gas, wind, water, or solar power reduce environmental health impacts by 50% or more. Consideration of potential climate change impacts alongside the human health outcomes described here further reinforces the environmental preferability of EVs powered by low-emitting electricity relative to gasoline vehicles.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1215647
Grant/Contract Number:
EE0004379; R1-0026-09; RO-0002-11; AC02-06CH11357
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 111; Journal Issue: 52; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS LCA; pollution; bioelectricity; externality; spatial