Below is an excerpt from a March 11, 2014, Green Car Congress article:
A study based on a spatial and longitudinal travel dataset by a team from Lamar University, Iowa State University (Assistant Professor Jing Dong) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that whether plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) have lower energy costs than conventional gasoline vehicles (CGVs) or hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) depends on charger coverage. Their paper is published in the journal Energy Policy.
The researchers used the spatial, longitudinal travel data of 415 vehicles over 3-18 months in the Seattle metropolitan area to estimate the operating costs of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) of various electric ranges (10, 20, 30, and 40 miles) for 3, 5, and 10 years of payback period, considering different charging infrastructure deployment levels and gasoline prices.
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