Effect of Low Ambient Temperature on Emissions and Electric Range of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

ACS Omega. 2019 Feb 13;4(2):3159-3168. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.8b02459. eCollection 2019 Feb 28.


Plug-in hybrid electrical vehicles (PHEVs) are generally considered to be a cleaner alternative to conventional passenger cars. However, there is still very limited information available regarding criteria pollutant emissions from these vehicles. This paper shows, for the first time, the emissions of criteria pollutants, unregulated pollutants, and CO2 and also electric range from two very different PHEVs, one Euro 6 parallel plug-in hybrid and one range-extended battery electric vehicle (BEVx), applying the new world harmonized light-duty test procedure at ambient temperatures equal to 23 and -7 °C. The impact of using a cabin air heating system on vehicle electric range and emissions at cold temperature has also been studied. Cold ambient temperatures and, to a larger extent, the use of heating systems have been shown to lead to a pronounced negative impact on emissions and shorter electric ranges. Results also show that modern PHEVs can emit similar, or even higher, levels of pollutants (e.g., particle number) as Euro 6 conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles.