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China Electricity Generation Greenhouse Gas Emission Intensity in 2030: Implications for Electric Vehicles

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journal contribution
posted on 25.04.2019, 00:00 by Wei Shen, Weijian Han, Timothy J. Wallington, Sandra L. Winkler
Electrification of transportation offers clear national energy security benefits but unclear climate benefits. With the current heterogeneity of grid electricity mix in China, greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) vary dramatically with location. Currently, compared to baseline conventional gasoline vehicles, BEVs in north and northeastern Chinese provinces have very modest (∼10–20%) well-to-wheel (WTW) GHG benefits, whereas BEVs in southern provinces have substantial benefits (∼50%). With the expected transition to a more renewable electricity mix documented here, regional effects will largely disappear and the benefits of BEVs will be substantial (∼60–70% lower than current internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) and ∼10–40% lower than 2030 advanced hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs)) across the whole of China by 2030. GHG emissions from BEVs in Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Pearl River Delta) and United States cities and regions (New York; Washington, DC; Chicago; New England; Texas; and California) in 2015 and 2030 are evaluated and compared. BEVs in Chinese cities will still have substantially higher WTW GHG emissions than those in New York, New England, and California in 2030.