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Responsible Battery Coalition and UM CSS Announce Study to Compare Lifetime Costs of Electric and Gas Vehicles

WASHINGTON, DC – The Responsible Battery Coalition (RBC) today announced the launch of a comprehensive research project with the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan to compare the total cost of ownership of gasoline and electric vehicles (VE).

“The Responsible Battery Coalition is dedicated to developing and sharing the latest scientific resources to help Americans understand the impact of electrifying the transportation sector,” said Steve Christensen, RBC Chief Executive Officer. “This independent and comprehensive study will build on our green principles and help RBC better understand the current consumer costs associated with the lack of a circular economy for electric vehicle batteries.”

“Our research partnership with RBC will allow us to conduct a more in-depth analysis of the costs of electric vehicles versus internal combustion engine vehicles by considering vehicle type, user behavior and where the vehicle is purchased and used,” said Dr. Gregory Keoleian. , director of the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan. “For example, we will account for regional differences in total cost of ownership related to charging installation costs, electricity and gasoline costs, temperature effects on fuel economy, and insurance, as well as federal and state incentives and policies for electric vehicles.”

The study will address common questions related to electric vehicle ownership:

  • What are the main factors contributing to the cost of owning a vehicle?
  • Where, when and for whom are electric vehicles most profitable?
  • Which government policies can have the most impact in reducing EV costs?

“This research will tell us whether, in addition to emissions savings, electric vehicles have cost parity with conventional internal combustion engine vehicles throughout their lifetime, including recycling considerations for batteries. electric vehicles,” said Steve Christensen.

Understanding the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an EV, not just the initial purchase price, is becoming an increasingly important factor in consumer decision-making. The total cost of vehicle ownership includes not only additional upfront costs, such as custom accessories, upgraded fuel systems to extend vehicle range, taxes and other fees, but also operating costs. longer term, including fuel, maintenance, repairs and insurance. The lack of clear comparisons between the two vehicle options – EV or internal combustion – is a factor slowing the widespread adoption of EVs, and therefore decarbonization, as consumers are unable to make accurate cost comparisons.

The UM/RBC research project aims to fill this information gap for consumers and will also take into account regional factors that have not been studied in depth before, including:

  • Impact of local climate on vehicle fuel economy.
  • Refueling patterns based on driver time rating.
  • Projections of future gasoline and electricity prices.
  • Advance driving modes.

Additionally, the research team will assess the carbon reduction potential of electric vehicles and calculate the social cost of carbon using regional estimates of greenhouse gas emissions developed by the Center for Sustainable Systems and Ford Motor Company.

The first phase of the study is slated for completion in December 2022, with results from 14 select cities across the United States being made available to the public shortly after peer review. The second phase will run from January to December 31, 2023.