Santini, D. and Burnham, A., "Reducing Light Duty Vehicle Fuel Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The Combined Potential of Hybrid Technology and Behavioral Adaptation," SAE Int. J. Alt. Power. 2(2):314-324, 2013, doi:10.4271/2013-01-1282.
When comparing the potential of advanced versus conventional powertrains, a traditional approach is to hold glider design constant and simulate “comparable performance” to a conventional vehicle (CV). However, manufacturers have developed hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and all-electric vehicle (EV) powertrains in gliders designed to synergistically enhance fuel saving benefits of such powertrains by further reducing road load and engine output power (or continuous power for the EV) where no conventional powertrain option is provided. In the U.S. marketplace, there are now several examples of both hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles using gliders common to top selling CVs and a few using low load gliders to further reduce fuel consumption. We use fuel consumption estimates from FuelEconomy.gov for a number of plausible CV versus HEV, PHEV, and EV comparisons to estimate the potential additional annual fuel savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission benefits, using Argonne National Laboratory's GREET model, obtainable when consumers make the behavioral choice to purchase various electrified powertrains in low road load gliders. When electric generation comes from natural gas, PHEVs and EVs in low load gliders can provide about the same GHG benefits as low load HEVs, with less gasoline use. If renewables are used in conjunction with natural gas, the GHG benefits increase. In comparison to HEVs in standard gliders, there will be even greater benefits.