Energy use and CO2 emissions reduction potential in passenger car fleet using zero emission vehicles and lightweight materials

Juan C. González Palencia, Takaaki Furubayashi, Toshihiko Nakata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction of ZEVs (zero emission vehicles) and lightweight materials in a conventional steel-intensive internal combustion engine vehicle fleet will affect energy consumption and automotive material requirements. We developed a bottom-up dynamic accounting model of the light-duty vehicle fleet, including vehicle production and disposal, with detailed coverage of powertrains and automotive materials. The model was used to study the potential for energy consumption and CO2 emissions reduction of ZEVs and lightweight materials in the Colombian passenger car fleet from 2010 to 2050. Results indicate that passenger car stock in Colombia is increased by 6.6 times between 2010 and 2050. In the base scenario energy consumption and CO2 emissions are increased by 5.5 and 4.9 times respectively. Lightweighting and battery electric vehicles offer the largest tank-to-wheel energy consumption and CO2 emissions reductions, 48 and 61% respectively, compared to 2050 baseline values. Slow stock turnover and fleet size increment prevent larger reductions. Switching to electric powertrains has larger impact than lightweighting on energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Iron and steel remain major materials in new cars. Aluminum consumption increases in all scenarios; while carbon fiber reinforced polymer consumption only increases due to fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle or lightweight vehicle use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-565
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec


  • BEVs (Battery electric vehicles)
  • FCHEVs (Fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles)
  • Lightweight materials
  • Passenger car fleet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Pollution
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Energy use and CO2 emissions reduction potential in passenger car fleet using zero emission vehicles and lightweight materials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this