Ford and University of Michigan researchers conducted a new study that evaluated the greenhouse gas emissions savings in battery-powered electric pickup trucks compared to gas-powered trucks. It also evaluated reductions in other light vehicles when compared to their gas-powered counterparts.
According to the study, battery electric vehicles powered by sedans, SUVs, and pickups have approximately 64 percent fewer cradle-to-grave life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions than the same combustion-engine-equipped vehicles. On average, replacing a conventional gas engine with an electric one can save up to 74 metric tons of CO2 over the life of a vehicle, the study says.
Automakers are using the transition to electrification as a key strategy to combat rising greenhouse gas emissions. Ford says light vehicles, including sedans, SUVs and vans, are currently responsible for 58 percent of U.S. transportation sector emissions. Pickups made up 14 percent of US light vehicle sales in 2020, with increases in sales of SUVs and vans since that data was released, meaning more emissions are released each year.
Ford is one of the car companies most committed to the transition to electrification. Mustang Mac E, which first hit the market for Ford, quickly became one of the best-selling electric cars in the United States. Last year, he Only Tesla Model Y delayed In the all-electric crossover segment. F-150 LightningDeliveries of Ford’s electric pickup truck series are scheduled to begin this spring. In addition, Ford has begun shipping E-Transit to fulfill commercial orders, including one 1110 units for Walmart.
The study gave more evidence that the transition to electric powertrains is more sustainable than gas-powered options, especially from the vehicle’s first mile to its last mile.
“This is an important study to inform and encourage climate action. Our research clearly shows significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that can be achieved from transitioning to electrified powertrains across all vehicle classes,” said Greg Collian, professor at the University of Michigan School of Environment and Sustainability. Keoleian was the study’s lead author.
The researchers conducted a cradle-to-grave life-cycle assessment of pickup flexes and compared it to an assessment of electrified versions of pickups, sedans and SUVs. The study used three different powertrain options for 2020, including ICE drive cars, hybrid electric vehicles, and battery electric vehicles. The study looked at mid-size sedans, mid-size SUVs, and full-size pickups, taking into account differences in fuel economy, annual mileage, vehicle production, and vehicle life across vehicle classes.
“This study expands on previous studies that focused on comparing battery electric sedans with an internal combustion engine or their hybrid counterparts,” added Colian. “We report emissions for vehicle production, use, and end-of-life stages on a mile-by-mile basis and over the vehicle’s total life. In addition, we analyzed regional variation in emissions taking into account differences in power grid mixes and ambient temperatures, and we also explored rate effects Removing carbon from the grid reduces emissions.”
The researchers found that switching to an electric vehicle results in a significant overall payload of emissions reductions as the vehicle increases in size. This is due to the increased fuel consumption of vehicles of larger classes.
“Although the percentage savings are roughly the same across vehicle classes, replacing an internal combustion engine sedan with a battery-powered sedan saves 45 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, replacing the internal combustion engine with a battery-electric SUV saves 56 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, and replacing a pickup truck with an internal combustion engine with a battery-powered electric truck saves 74 metric tons of CO2 over the life of the vehicles,” Max Woody, Sustainable Systems Research Specialist, said. Woody is listed as the study’s first author.
The researchers also concluded that manufacturing BEVs has greater emissions rates than manufacturing ICE cars. Battery electric sedans ranged from 1.2 to 1.3 years, the study said, while SUVs ranged from 1.4 to 1.6 years, and pickups sat at 1.3 years, based on the average U.S. grid and vehicle mileage.
Officially published on March 1 in the magazine Environmental Research Letters, Full study available here.
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