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Title: Measuring and Reporting Fuel Economy of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles


This paper reviews techniques used to characterize plug-in hybrid electric vehicle fuel economy, discussing their merits, limitations, and best uses.

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US200722%%842
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: World Electric Vehicle Association Journal; Journal Volume: 1; Journal Issue: 2007; Related Information: (WEVA-2007-025)
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Gonder, J., and Simpson, A. Measuring and Reporting Fuel Economy of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Gonder, J., & Simpson, A. Measuring and Reporting Fuel Economy of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles. United States.
Gonder, J., and Simpson, A. Mon . "Measuring and Reporting Fuel Economy of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles". United States. doi:.
title = {Measuring and Reporting Fuel Economy of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles},
author = {Gonder, J. and Simpson, A.},
abstractNote = {This paper reviews techniques used to characterize plug-in hybrid electric vehicle fuel economy, discussing their merits, limitations, and best uses.},
doi = {},
journal = {World Electric Vehicle Association Journal},
number = 2007,
volume = 1,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
  • This paper reviews techniques used to characterize plug-in hybrid electric vehicle fuel economy, discussing their merits, limitations, and best uses.
  • As vehicle powertrain efficiency increases through electrification, consumer travel and driving behavior have significantly more influence on the potential fuel consumption of these vehicles. Therefore, it is critical to have a good understanding of in-use or 'real world' driving behavior if accurate fuel consumption estimates of electric drive vehicles are to be achieved. Regional travel surveys using Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment have been found to provide an excellent source of in-use driving profiles. In this study, a variety of vehicle powertrain options were developed and their performance was simulated over GPS-derived driving profiles for 783 vehicles operating in Texas.more » The results include statistical comparisons of the driving profiles versus national data sets, driving performance characteristics compared with standard drive cycles, and expected petroleum displacement benefits from the electrified vehicles given various vehicle charging scenarios.« less
  • To provide useful information for automakers to design successful plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) products and for energy and environmental analysts to understand the social impact of PHEVs, this paper addresses the question of how many of the U.S. consumers, if buying a PHEV, would prefer what electric ranges. The Market-oriented Optimal Range for PHEV (MOR-PHEV) model is developed to optimize the PHEV electric range for each of 36,664 sampled individuals representing U.S. new vehicle drivers. The optimization objective is the minimization of the sum of costs on battery, gasoline, electricity and refueling hassle. Assuming no battery subsidy, the empiricalmore » results suggest that: 1) the optimal PHEV electric range approximates two thirds of one s typical daily driving distance in the near term, defined as $450/kWh battery delivered price and $4/gallon gasoline price. 2) PHEVs are not ready to directly compete with HEVs at today s situation, defined by the $600/kWh battery delivered price and the $3-$4/gallon gasoline price, but can do so in the near term. 3) PHEV10s will be favored by the market over longer-range PHEVs in the near term, but longer-range PHEVs can dominate the PHEV market if gasoline prices reach as high as $5-$6 per gallon and/or battery delivered prices reach as low as $150-$300/kWh. 4) PHEVs can become much more attractive against HEVs in the near term if the electric range can be extended by only 10% with multiple charges per day, possible with improved charging infrastructure or adapted charging behavior. 5) the impact of a $100/kWh decrease in battery delivered prices on the competiveness of PHEVs against HEVs can be offset by about $1.25/gallon decrease in gasoline prices, or about 7/kWh increase in electricity prices. This also means that the impact of a $1/gallon decrease in gasoline prices can be offset by about 5/kWh decrease in electricity prices.« less
  • Our study determines the optimal electric driving range of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that minimizes the daily cost borne by the society when using this technology. An optimization framework is developed and applied to datasets representing the US market. Results indicate that the optimal range is 16 miles with an average social cost of 3.19 per day when exclusively charging at home, compared to 3.27 per day of driving a conventional vehicle. The optimal range is found to be sensitive to the cost of battery packs and the price of gasoline. Moreover, when workplace charging is available, the optimalmore » electric driving range surprisingly increases from 16 to 22 miles, as larger batteries would allow drivers to better take advantage of the charging opportunities to achieve longer electrified travel distances, yielding social cost savings. If workplace charging is available, the optimal density is to deploy a workplace charger for every 3.66 vehicles. Finally, the diversification of the battery size, i.e., introducing a pair and triple of electric driving ranges to the market, could further decrease the average societal cost per PHEV by 7.45% and 11.5% respectively.« less
  • Estimation of the potential of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV's) ability to reduce U.S. gasoline use is difficult and complex. Although techniques have been proposed to estimate the vehicle kilometers of travel (VKT) that can be electrified, these methods may be inadequate and/or inappropriate for early market introduction circumstances. Factors that must be considered with respect to the PHEV itself include (1) kWh battery storage capability; (2) kWh/km depletion rate of the vehicle (3) liters/km use of gasoline (4) average daily kilometers driven (5) annual share of trips exceeding the battery depletion distance (6) driving cycle(s) (7) charger location [i.e.more » on-board or off-board] (8) charging rate. Each of these factors is actually a variable, and many interact. Off the vehicle, considerations include (a) primary overnight charging spot [garage, carport, parking garage or lot, on street], (b) availability of primary and secondary charging locations [i.e. dwellings, workplaces, stores, etc] (c) time of day electric rates (d) seasonal electric rates (e) types of streets and highways typically traversed during most probable trips depleting battery charge [i.e. city, suburban, rural and high vs. low density]; (f) cumulative trips per day from charger origin (g) top speeds and peak acceleration rates required to make usual trips. Taking into account PHEV design trade-off possibilities (kW vs. kWh of battery, in particular), this paper attempts to extract useful information relating to these topics from the 2001 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), and the 2005 American Housing Survey (AHS). Costs per kWh of PHEVs capable of charge depleting (CD) all-electric range (CDE, or AER) vs. those CD in 'blended' mode (CDB) are examined. Lifetime fuel savings of alternative PHEV operating/utilization strategies are compared to battery cost estimates.« less