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Battery Electric MDHD

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) use a battery pack to store the electrical energy that powers the motor. The batteries are charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source. For additional background, see the Alternative Fuels Data Center's All-Electric Vehicles webpage.

Explore key cost and performance metrics for battery electric vehicles, including modeled vehicle price, fuel economy, levelized cost of driving, and emissions. Caveats for comparing powertrains are listed on the MDHD Comparison page.

Vehicle Metrics: Fuel Economy and Modeled Vehicle Price

The chart below shows fuel economy and modeled vehicle price, metrics associated with the vehicle. Fuel economy represents how efficiently a vehicle converts fuel during operation. Modeled vehicle price represents an estimated cost to the consumer to purchase a new vehicle, based on modeling that includes manufacturing costs and profit.

The source of the 2022 Transportation ATB modeled vehicle price and fuel economy is the Argonne National Laboratory report (Islam et al., 2022); the original data are available here. These data are developed using ANL's Autonomie simulation tool.

Select the data to display using the menus above the chart. Use the Metric filter to switch between fuel economy and modeled vehicle price data. Select the vehicle class, powertrain, and other powertrain details using the additional filters.

Vehicle and Fuel Metrics: Levelized Cost of Driving and CO2 Emissions

The chart below shows levelized cost of driving and CO2emissions, in addition to the associated fuel data. Levelized cost of driving is a metric that combines modeled vehicle price , fuel economy, fuel cost, and other assumptions for the selected fuel. CO2e emissions represents the emissions for the fuel well-to-wheels portion of the life cycle for the selected fuel. Emissions associated with vehicle life cycles are not included here.  

The chart shows LCOD bands that include uncertainty and variation in MDHD EV charging situations. These LCOD bands incorporate scenarios of different utilization, electric power demand charges, equipment costs, charging powers/fueling rates, and business models. In each calculated LCOD for each fuel pathway, ATB combines a range of charging costs with bulk electricity prices, for consistency. Transmission infrastructure costs are included in the bulk electricity prices. See the Electricity fuel pages for additional details of EV charging costs.

These calculations use data from Argonne National Laboratory, which develops and applies the Autonomie simulation tool and GREET model (Wang et al., 2022). Links to data from the Argonne National Laboratory report (Islam et al., 2022) on modeled vehicle price and fuel economy are available here.   

Select the data to display using the buttons and menus to the above the chart. Use the Metric filter to switch between levelized cost of driving and CO2e emissions data. Select the pathway, scenario, vehicle class and powertrain details using the additional filters. Clicking the black arrows on the top right of the figure shows additional details of the selected fuel pathways. The underlying source for a data point in the chart can be seen by placing your mouse cursor over that data point. The data sources are also cited—with hyperlinked linked references—in the Key Assumptions section below.


Key Assumptions

The data and estimates presented here are based on the following key assumptions:

  • Cost and Fuel Economy Trajectories: The cost and fuel economy trajectories are based on the analysis-year Autonomie modeling results from Islam et al. (Islam et al., 2022). 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 ATB Constant trajectory is set to the 2022 values in the Low technology progress, high-cost case and held constant through 2050.
  • High Production Volume: The estimates from Islam et al. (Islam et al., 2022), and those shown here, represent costs and technology performance at high production volume
  • At-Scale Manufacturing Costs: While MDHD BEVs are not currently produced at high volume, we assume learning and scale from light-duty vehicle manufacturing of electric drivetrain components, which are produced at high volume, will lead to at-scale manufacturing costs for MDHD BEVs. However, we note that differences in performance, durability, and warranty requirements may maintain a price premium in MDHD EV component costs compared to light-duty vehicle component costs. 
  • Battery Cost Trajectories: The assumed battery cost trajectories can be found in the definition for battery electric vehicles.
  • Vehicle Variations: The Transportation ATB presents estimates for representative vehicles in medium- and heavy-duty classes; 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.
  • Fuel Economy Improvements: The assumptions about fuel economy improvements reflect adoption of lightweighting and engine efficiency technologies consistently across vehicle powertrains for a given trajectory. In the case of battery electric vehicles, fuel economy improvements also reflect lighter battery packs from increased energy density.
  • Efficiency Losses: The charge-depleting fuel economy estimates in Islam et al. (Islam et al., 2022) are adjusted to account for battery charging efficiency losses, which are not accounted for in the Autonomie model. The Transportation ATB assume 15% efficiency losses in 2022, which decreases exponentially to 12% in 2050, based on estimates reported in Elgowainy et al. (Elgowainy et al., 2016).
  • Baseline Fuel: The baseline fuel used for this powertrain in the levelized cost of driving and emissions estimates is the plug-in electric vehicle charging electricity with the national grid mix pathway. Additional selected fuel pathways can be displayed by choosing Lowest Cost or Lowest Emissions under the Fuel Pathway filter. Additional information about these and other fuels can be found on the Electricity page.
  • Frozen Fuel Prize Level: The fuel price and emissions of the selected fuel pathways (e.g., Baseline, Lowest Cost, and 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. 
  • Fuels References: See fuels pages, especially for electricity for a full description of fuels references. Those for electricity include (EIA, 2022)(EIA, 2021)(EIA, 2018), and (Wang et al., 2022).
  • Charge-Depleting Fuel Economy: The charge-depleting fuel economy is converted to miles per gallon diesel equivalent from watt-hours per mile.
  • Charge Time: The ATB does not estimate the cost (or opportunity cost) of the time required to charge the vehicle.

The data downloads include additional details of assumptions and calculations for each metric.


For detailed definitions, see:

Battery electric vehicles


Fuel economy

Levelized cost of driving


Modeled Vehicle Price

Vehicle Range


The following references are specific to this page; for all references in this ATB, see References.

Islam, Ehsan Sabri, Ram Vijayagopal, Benjamin Dupont, Namdoo Kim, Ayman Moawad, Daniela Nieto Prada, and Aymeric Rousseau. “A Comprehensive Simulation Study to Evaluate Future Vehicle Energy and Cost Reduction Potential.” Report to the US Department of Energy. Argonne National Laboratory, June 2022.

Wang, Michael, Amgad Elgowainy, Uisung Lee, Kwang Hoon Baek, Adarsh Bafana, Pahola Thathiana Benavides, Andrew Burnham, et al. “Summary of Expansions and Updates in GREET® 2022.” Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States), October 1, 2022.

Elgowainy, Amgad, Jeongwoo Han, Jacob Ward, Fred Joseck, David Gohlke, Alicia Lindauer, Todd Ramsden, et al. “Cradle-to-Grave Lifecycle Analysis of U.S. Light-Duty Vehicle-Fuel Pathways: A Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Economic Assessment of Current (2015) and Future (2025–2030) Technologies,” September 1, 2016.

EIA. “Electricity Data Browser,” 2022.

EIA. “Annual Energy Outlook 2021.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Energy Information Administration, February 2021.

EIA. “Annual Energy Outlook 2018.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2018.

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