Optimal electrification level of passenger cars in Europe in a battery-constrained future

03 Dec 2021

Recent forecasts for the rapid electrification of the road transport sector towards 2030 have given rise to considerable uncertainty associated with battery production capacity and whether it will be able to meet the growing demand in Europe. In view of this uncertainty and the potential implications for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, this paper explores the optimal electrification level of passenger cars for minimising well-to-wheels (WTW) GHG emissions as a function of battery production capacity. The findings indicate that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) could be the key components of the optimal sales mix in a battery-constrained future; especially the lower-range PHEVs with smaller batteries would be preferable over hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). To ensure the best utilisation of the available battery resources, the longer-range PHEVs require far higher levels of utility factor to be able to play a role in the optimal sales mix.