Socially optimal electric driving range of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

Eleftheria Kontou, Yafeng Yin, Zhenhong Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study determines the optimal electric driving range of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that minimizes the daily cost borne by the society when using this technology. An optimization framework is developed and applied to datasets representing the US market. Results indicate that the optimal range is 16. miles with an average social cost of $3.19 per day when exclusively charging at home, compared to $3.27 per day of driving a conventional vehicle. The optimal range is found to be sensitive to the cost of battery packs and the price of gasoline. When workplace charging is available, the optimal electric driving range surprisingly increases from 16 to 22. miles, as larger batteries would allow drivers to better take advantage of the charging opportunities to achieve longer electrified travel distances, yielding social cost savings. If workplace charging is available, the optimal density is to deploy a workplace charger for every 3.66 vehicles. Moreover, the diversification of the battery size, i.e., introducing a pair and triple of electric driving ranges to the market, could further decrease the average societal cost per PHEV by 7.45% and 11.5% respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-125
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Minimum social cost
  • Optimal all-electric driving range
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)
  • Recharging opportunities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Science(all)

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