Low-CO2 Electricity and Hydrogen: A Help or Hindrance for Electric and Hydrogen Vehicles?
Journal article, 2010

The title question was addressed using an energy model that accounts for projected global energy use in all sectors(transportation, heat, and power) of the global economy. Global CO2 emissions were constrained to achieve stabilization at 400-550 ppm by 2100 at the lowest total system cost(equivalent to perfect CO2 cap-and-trade regime). For future scenarios where vehicle technology costs were sufficiently competitive to advantage either hydrogen or electric vehicles, increased availability of low-cost, low-CO2 electricity/hydrogen delayed (but did not prevent) the use of electric/hydrogen-powered vehicles in the model. This occurs when low-CO2 electricity/hydrogen providesmorecost-effective CO2 mitigation opportunities in the heat and power energy sectors than in transportation. Connections between the sectors leading to this counterintuitive result need consideration in policy and technology planning.

battery cost

light-duty vehicles


carbon dioxide reduction

Global energy systems


fuel cell cost


long-term scenarios



Timothy J Wallington

Ford Motor Company

Maria Grahn

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

James E Anderson

Ford Motor Company

Sherry A Mueller

Ford Motor Company

Mats Williander

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Kristian Lindgren

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Environmental Science & Technology

0013-936X (ISSN) 1520-5851 (eISSN)

Vol. 44 2702-08

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance



Subject Categories

Computational Mathematics

Other Environmental Engineering

Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified