Plug-In Hybrid (50-Mile)
Explore key cost and performance metrics for 50-mile-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, including vehicle cost, fuel economy, levelized cost of driving, and emissions. Caveats for comparing powertrains are listed in the Light-Duty Vehicle Comparison page.
The chart below shows fuel economy, which depends on fuel type. Fuel economy is also used to calculate levelized cost of driving.
The chart below shows vehicle cost, which is used to calculate levelized cost of driving.
Levelized Cost of Driving
This chart shows levelized cost of driving, a metric that combines vehicle cost, fuel economy, and other assumptions, for the selected fuel.
- The levelized cost of driving includes initial costs for the vehicle, fuel costs, and, if applicable, residential charger equipment and installation. It does not include other operations or maintenance costs beyond fuel, or insurance.
- Changes over time are attributable only to projected vehicle cost and performance; the fuel cost and emissions are constant over time based on the selected fuel.
The chart below shows CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions for the fuel well-to-wheels portion of the life cycle for the selected fuel. Emissions depend on fuel type and fuel economy. Emissions associated with vehicle life cycles are not included here.
Note: Changes over time are attributable only to projected vehicle cost and performance; the fuel cost and emissions are constant over time based on the selected fuel.
The data and estimates presented here are based on the following key assumptions:
- The cost and fuel economy trajectories are based on the analysis-year Autonomie modeling results from Islam et al. (Islam et al., 2020). The ATB Mid trajectory corresponds to the Base performance, Low technology progress case. The ATB Advanced trajectory corresponds to the Base performance, High technology progress case. The estimates from Islam et al. (Islam et al., 2020), and those shown here, represent costs and technology performance at high production volume. The ATB Constant trajectory is set to the 2020 values in the low-technology, high-cost case and held constant through 2050.
- The Transportation ATB presents estimates for a representative, single size of light-duty vehicle (midsize); we do not account for variations in make, model, and trim or for pricing incentives or geographic heterogeneity that influence prices in the market. As a result, representative values shown here may differ from specific models available on the market.
- Technology advances include changes that may reduce costs or may increase costs while improving performance, which implies that costs do not always decline between less- and more-advanced scenarios.
- The assumptions about fuel economy improvements reflect adoption of lightweighting and engine efficiency technologies consistently across vehicle powertrains for a given trajectory in Islam et al. (Islam et al., 2020). However, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles use different engine technologies than gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles and different battery technologies than battery electric vehicles, so the impact of lightweighting and other technology advancements on fuel economy and vehicle cost may occur at different rates.
- The charge depleting fuel economy estimates in Islam et al. (Islam et al., 2020) are adjusted to account for battery charging efficiency losses, which are not accounted for in the Autonomie model. The Transportation ATB assumes 15% efficiency losses in 2020, which decreases exponentially to 12% in 2050, based on estimates reported in Elgowainy et al. (Elgowainy et al., 2016).
- The baseline fuel pathways used for this powertrain in the levelized cost of driving and emissions estimates are plug-in electric vehicle charging electricity with national grid mix and conventional E10 gasoline with starch ethanol. Additional selected fuel pathways can be displayed by choosing Lowest Cost or Lowest Emissions under Fuel Selection. Additional information about these and other fuels can be found on the Gasoline and Ethanol and Electricity pages.
- The fuel price and emissions of the selected fuel pathways (e.g., Baseline, Lowest Cost, Lowest Emissions) are associated with a single year. Because we do not provide a time-series trajectory, here we show fuel price at a frozen level for all years so we can offer a range of fuel price values. In the levelized cost of driving and emissions charts, this approach clearly distinguishes effects of fuels from those of vehicle technologies, because fuels remain constant while vehicle technologies change over time.
- The fuel economy shown here is the utility-factor-weighted average, which includes the average electricity and liquid fuel consumption across charge-depleting and charge-sustaining modes. The utility factor is explicitly built into the results from Autonomie modeling by Islam et al. (Islam et al., 2020), and is consistent with SAE J1711. The charge-depleting fuel economy was converted to miles per gallon gasoline equivalent from watt-hour per mile, assuming 1 gge = 33,700 watt-hours (EPA, 2011). The breakdown of utility-factor-weighted average electricity and liquid fuel consumption is included in the downloadable data.
- The Transportation ATB assumes the charge-sustaining fuel economy remains constant when operating on substitutable fuels (e.g., conventional E10 gasoline versus reformulated E15 gasoline). In reality, fuel composition may affect engine performance.
- The electric range of 50 miles represents the adjusted real-world, on-road estimated driving range in all-electric (charge-depleting) mode. The range is based on 55% city and 45% highway driving, using the urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule and Highway Fuel Economy Test drive cycles, respectively. Based on data from the National Household Travel Survey, 95% of U.S. vehicle trips are less than 31 miles (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2019).
- The Transportation ATB includes charger equipment and installation costs for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the levelized cost of driving calculation, based on the following assumptions: plug-in hybrid electric vehicles use 50% Level 1 chargers and 50% Level 2 chargers, and assume Level 1 costs of $0 and Level 2 costs of $1,836 (including equipment and installation), based on Borlaug et al. (Borlaug et al., 2020). An average charger cost of $918 is used.
- The data downloads include additional detail on assumptions and calculations for each metric.
For detailed definitions, see:
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
The following references are specific to this page; for all references in this ATB, see References.