The promotion of hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) has been proposed as one promising solution for reducing transport energy consumption and mitigating vehicular emissions in China. In this study, the energy and environmental impacts of hybrid and EVs during 2010–2020 were evaluated
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The promotion of hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) has been proposed as one promising solution for reducing transport energy consumption and mitigating vehicular emissions in China. In this study, the energy and environmental impacts of hybrid and EVs during 2010–2020 were evaluated through an energy conversion analysis and a life cycle assessment (LCA), and the per-kilometer energy consumptions of gasoline, coal, natural gas (NG), oil, biomass, garbage and electricity for EVs and HEVs were estimated. Results show that the EVs and HEVs can reduce the energy consumption of vehicles by national average ratios of 17%–19% and 30%–33%, respectively. The study also calculated the detailed emission factors of SO2
, VOC, CO, NH3
, OC, EC, CO2
, Pb and Hg. It is indicated that the HEVs can bring significant reductions of NOX
, VOC and CO emissions and lesser decreases of SO2
for a single vehicle. The EVs could decrease many of the VOC, NH3
, CO and CO2
emissions, but increase the SO2
and particles by 10.8–13.0, 2.7–2.9 and 3.6–11.5 times, respectively. In addition, the electricity sources had significant influence on energy consumption (EC) and emissions. A high proportion of coal-fired energy resulted in large ECs and emission factors. The total energy consumption and pollutants emission changes in 2015 and 2020 were also calculated. Based on the energy use and emission analysis of HEVs and EVs, it is suggested that EVs should be promoted in the regions with higher proportions of hydropower, natural gas-fired power and clean energy power, while HEVs can be widely adopted in the regions with high coal-fired power ratios. This is to achieve a higher energy consumption reduction and pollutant emission mitigation. Moreover, the results can also provide scientific support for the total amount control of regional air pollutants in China.