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Episodic air quality impacts of plug-in electric vehicles


In this paper, the Spatially and Temporally Resolved Energy and Environment Tool (STREET) is used in conjunction with University of California Irvine - California Institute of Technology (UCI-CIT) atmospheric chemistry and transport model to assess the impact of deploying plug-in electric vehicles and integrating wind energy into the electricity grid on urban air quality. STREET is used to generate emissions profiles associated with transportation and power generation sectors for different future cases. These profiles are then used as inputs to UCI-CIT to assess the impact of each case on urban air quality. The results show an overall improvement in 8-h averaged ozone and 24-h averaged particulate matter concentrations in the South Coast Air Basin (SoCAB) with localized increases in some cases. The most significant reductions occur northeast of the region where baseline concentrations are highest (up to 6 ppb decrease in 8-h-averaged ozone and 6 μg/m3 decrease in 24-h-averaged PM2.5). The results also indicate that, without integration of wind energy into the electricity grid, the temporal vehicle charging profile has very little to no effect on urban air quality. With the addition of wind energy to the grid mix, improvement in air quality is observed while charging at off-peak hours compared to the business as usual scenario.

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