Dr. Ryan McCarthy, Science and Technology Fellow at California Council on Science and Technology
As we move toward alternative vehicles and fuels in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is necessary to understand well-to-wheels emissions associated with distinct vehicle and fuel platforms, including those using electricity. This analysis uses hourly electricity dispatch modeling to simulate and investigate operation of the current California grid and its response to added vehicle and fuel-related electricity demands in the near and long term. Importantly, the modeling identifies the “marginal electricity mix” likely to supply vehicle recharging and calculates greenhouse gas emissions from those plants. From this analysis, we can accurately identify greenhouse gas emissions from plug-in vehicles and conditions under which investments in these technologies provide the most benefit.