This paper explores opportunities for reductions in lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through adoption of electric drive vehicles (EDV), including hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. EDVs have generally lower GHG emission rates during operation than similar-class conventional vehicles (CV). However, a key observation is that GHG reductions per mile are much larger during city driving conditions than on the highway. An examination of the estimated GHG emissions is conducted for city and highway driving conditions for several CV and EDV models based on testing results from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), then compared with key findings from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS 2009). Through an empirical analysis of actual driving patterns in the U.S., this study highlights potential missed opportunities to reduce transportation GHG emissions through the allocation of incentives and/or regulations. Key findings include the significant potential to reduce GHG emissions of taxis and delivery vehicles, as well as driving pattern-based incentives for individual vehicle owners.

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