Review of British Columbia’s RLCFRR Energy Effectiveness Ratios2018-11-06T20:32:39+00:00

Research Brief

Review of British Columbia’s RLCFRR Energy Effectiveness Ratios

November, 2018

Highlights

  • “Energy effectiveness ratios” (“EERs”) define the relative energy efficiency of using different transportation fuels in British Columbia’s Renewable and Low-Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation. EERs are used to calculate the greenhouse gases avoided when using an alternative transportation fuel (e.g. an electric vehicle rather than one fuelled with gasoline or diesel)
  • The regulation introduced in 2012 currently defines EERs of 2.7 for the substitution of diesel with electricity and 3.4 for the substitution of gasoline with electricity
  • New information shows that EERs should be higher, with multiple values for the diesel/electric substitution
  • This research indicates that typical diesel/electric EERs should range from 2.7 to 5.0 depending on the function of the vehicles
  • Similarly, a gasoline/electric EER based on the current Canadian vehicle market is approximately 4.1

In British Columbia’s Renewable and Low-Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation, “Energy Effectiveness Ratios” (“EERs”) define the relative energy efficiency of using an alternative transportation fuel versus a conventional one. For example, an electric vehicle uses much less end-use energy than a vehicle powered by gasoline or diesel while performing the same task. The EER is used to calculate the greenhouse gases avoided when using an alternative transportation fuel and to allocate credit towards compliance with the regulation. EERs are also used for similar fuel regulations in California and Oregon.

The current EERs were defined in 2012, likely based on the ratios used in California at the time. The current EER for the substitution of diesel with electricity is 2.7. This research indicates that there is significant variation in this EER, depending the vehicle or equipment in question. An EER of 2.7 is appropriate for marine applications, such as shore power, but should be closer to 5.0 for buses and trucks operating in urban environments. This research also considers cargo handling equipment at ports, marine propulsion, airport ground support equipment, trolley buses and transit rail.

The current light-duty vehicle EER for the substitution of gasoline with electricity is 3.4. This value is based on the comparison of the 2011 Nissan Leaf and Versa and the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and Cruze. An EER of 4.1 weighted by Canadian sales is calculated for 2017 and 2018 model-year vehicles, indicating that the original EER is too low.

Read the full report here.

The Canadian sales-weighted EER for light-duty vehicles is 4.1 (applies to the gasoline/electric substitution).

Download the full report here.

This study was commissioned and funded by Powerex.

To learn more about this research, please contact Michael Wolinetz.

Other Publications

Journal Articles

Melton, N., J. Axsen & S. Goldberg. 2017. Evaluating plug-in electric vehicle policies in the context of long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals: Comparing 10 Canadian provinces using the PEV policy report card. Energy Policy, 107, 381-393.

Bataille, C. & N. Melton. 2017. Energy efficiency and economic growth: A retrospective CGE analysis for Canada from 2002 to 2012Energy Economics, 64, 118-130.

Wolinetz & Axsen. 2017. How policy can build the plug-in electric vehicle market: Insights from the REspondent-based Preference And Constraints (REPAC) model. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 117: 238-250.

Melton, N., J. Axsen & D. Sperling. 2016. Moving beyond alternative fuel hype to decarbonize transportationNature Energy, 1, 16013. Learn More ➥

Bataille, C., N. Melton & M. Jaccard. 2015. Policy uncertainty and diffusion of carbon capture and storage in an optimal region. Climate Policy, 15(5): 565-582.

Jaccard, M., N. Melton & J. Nyboer. 2011. Institutions and Processes for Scaling Up Renewables: Run-of-River Hydropower in British Columbia. Energy Policy, 39(7): 4042-4050.

Peters, J., C. Bataille, N. Rivers, & M. Jaccard. 2010. Taxing Emissions, Not Income: How to Moderate the Regional Impact of Federal Environment Policy. C.D. Howe Institute, 314: Toronto, ON.