Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Health Impacts of Vehicle Electrification in the US with an Emphasis on Heavy-Duty Vehicles Public Deposited
  • The 2020 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study found air pollution to be the fourth ranking global mortality risk factor in 2019, causing ~6.8 million deaths worldwide. Thakrar et al. (2020) estimated the transportation sector to account for 29,000 PM2.5-related deaths per year in the US, with passenger vehicles accounting for 33% and truck use for 27%. The air quality, health, and environmental justice impacts of air pollution from motor vehicles represent important drivers for vehicle electrification. This project aims to develop a flexible tool to study the air quality and health implications of vehicle and roadway electrification projects and scenarios. We used reduced form atmospheric chemistry and transport models, InMAP and EASIUR, to evaluate PM2.5 concentrations and health impacts from changes in power plant and vehicle emissions under two hypothetical scenarios: 1) national level analysis of 100% electrification of all heavy-duty vehicles (HDV) and light duty vehicles (LDV) in 2017 assuming the 2018 power grid mix, and 2) state level analysis of 100% electrification of transit buses, school buses, single unit long haul trucks, single unit short haul trucks, combination short haul trucks and combination long haul trucks in 2017 assuming the 2018 power grid mix. Analyses of reduced vehicle emissions and added powerplant emissions from the national case study resulted in net health benefits from 100% HDV electrification of $29 billion using InMAP and $17 billion using EASIUR, and net health benefits from 100% LDV electrification of $55 billion using InMAP and $46 billion using EASIUR. Similarly, analyses of electrification of all HDV classes from the state case studies resulted in net health benefits using InMAP ranging from 3¢/mile (state scenario) to 5¢/mile (NERC scenario) for Utah, 6¢/mile (state scenario) to 12¢/mile (NERC scenario) for Indiana and 12¢/mile (state scenario) to 13¢/mile (NERC scenario) for Colorado. Any county where emissions resulted in net health damages from electrification of any HDV scenario also had one or more coal powerplants in that county, reinforcing that retirement of coal plants should be prioritized to achieve maximum health benefits from vehicle electrification.

Date Issued
  • 2022-11-08
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Last Modified
  • 2024-01-17
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