Societal Cost Results

The annual societal costs for the US for each scenario follow the same trends as each of the three societal ills (greenhouse gases, oil consumption and urban air pollution:

  • Business-as-usual: 100% gasoline cars: the total societal costs stabilize over the century at more than $226 billion each year (these costs rose sharply prior to the economic recession of 2008 that sharply decrease the DOE’s projections of vehicle sales and vehicle travel)
  • Gasoline hybrid electric vehicle base case scenario: adding hybrids does slow the growth of societal costs, but they still reach over $170 billion per year by 2100
  • Gasoline plug-in hybrid scenario: plugging in HEVs cuts the societal costs to $128 billion per year, or a savings of $98 billion compared to the ICV-only scenario
  • Biofuel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle scenario: Adding biofuels like cellulosic ethanol to the mix reduces societal costs to $91 billion by the end of the century, saving $134 billion annually
  • Fuel cell electric vehicle scenario: total societal costs would fall to “only” $16.5 billion per year by the 2080 time period with the fuel cell electric vehicle scenario, or an annual savings of $209 billion by 2100

The costs of these pollutants were derived by averaging multiple estimates from the literature. Some were based on estimates of the health costs of the pollutants; others were based on the cost of implementing corrective measures to eliminate or reduce the pollution. The net average pollution costs for each pollutant were as follows:

The derivation of these pollution and crude oil import costs (including an estimate of the military costs of protecting our lifeline to Middle East oil) is included in a paper published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy in December 2009.

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