Empirical charging behavior of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) offer greenhouse gas emission reduction in car usage if charged frequently and driven mainly on electricity. However, little is known about the actual charging behavior of PHEV owners. Here, we investigate the daily charging of 10,488 Chevrolet Volt PHEV driven on a total of 4.3 million total driving days in the US and Canada. We propose a new method to detect the frequency of individual charging behavior from the daily utility factor and daily distance travelled. Our results show that no charging overnight occurs typically on 3-7% of the driving days per user and additional charging happens on 20-26% of the driving days. We also analyze the relation between charging frequency and utility factor for different user groups and days. Our results show that the utility factor should not be used as the only measure of environmental performance of PHEVs.