to rapid and widespread adoption of alternatives. Table 3.3 shows the investment costs on a $/gge per day basis and on a $/LDV basis. This calculation includes only the investment in building a new form of infrastructure needed to make and deliver the fuel to the customer. It does not include investment to expand an already large and functioning infrastructure associated with producing more of the basic resource. For instance, for hydrogen made from natural gas, the investment cost includes the cost of converting natural gas to hydrogen, pipelines to deliver the hydrogen, and the full cost of a hydrogen station, but it does not include investments to produce natural gas or deliver it to a plant. A complete list of which costs are included or excluded is shown in Appendix G.2 “Infrastructure Initial Investment Cost.” Details for these investment costs are found in the individual fuel sections below in this chapter.

The investment cost for a new petroleum refinery is included in Table 3.3 for perspective. However, with increasing fuel economy for the LDV fleet, no new refinery capacity will be needed during the study period. So in effect the initial investment cost for gasoline is near zero. The alternative-fuel-producing industry, in 2030, must make a $1,000 to $3,000 investment for each new alternative-fuel LDV, whereas almost none is needed for new petroleum gasoline LDVs. This cost differential is a major barrier to large-scale deployment of alternative fuels.

The scale, pace, and modularity of the infrastructure investments vary for the different vehicles and fuels. These differences are noted in the right-most column of Table 3.3. Two basic categories are used to describe the infrastructure requirements: centralized and distributed. Centralized infrastructure investments are those that are borne by a select number of decision makers. For example, the infrastructure for CTL, GTL, or gasoline requires large-scale plants (which cost billions of dollars each) that individual companies would pay for. Biofuels require large-scale investments for biorefineries. Hydrogen requires hydrogen production plants plus smaller-scale distributed investments by retailers to install new storage tanks and fuel pumps. The investment costs for BEVs and PHEVs in Table 3.3 include only the costs for home, workplace, and public chargers. The centralized infrastructure for CNG has already been built, and so the incremental CNG infrastructure costs include home fueling systems (paid for by car owners), or new filling stations (paid for by retailers). Thus, the infrastructure requirements vary from a few very large, multibillion-dollar investments (e.g., for biorefineries) made by a few decision makers in industry, to millions of small multithousand-dollar investments made by millions of decision makers such as consumers, ratepayers, and retailers.

Finding: The investment cost for a new fuel infrastructure using electricity, biofuels, or hydrogen is in the range of $2,000 to $3,000 per LDV. This is a significant barrier to large-scale deployment when compared with an infrastructure cost for using petroleum of only about $530 per LDV.

3.1.7 GHG Emissions from the Production and Use of Alternative Fuels

Operational and infrastructure costs (as noted in Tables 3.2 and 3.3) are critical factors to consider for deployment. However, the net GHG emissions for the different vehicle and fuel options need to be examined to determine how the goal of 80 percent GHG reduction could be met. The estimates of annual GHG emissions in 2030 for different vehicle and fuel options are shown in Table 3.4.

Each vehicle and fuel option has a range of net annual GHG emissions because GHG emissions depend

TABLE 3.3 2030 Fuel Infrastructure Initial Investment Costs per Vehicle

Alternative Fuel 2030 Investment Cost LDV Fuel Use per Day Infrastructure Investment Cost ($/vehicle) Cost Burden
Electricity BEV $330/kWh per day 8.9 kWh 2,930 Distributed (car owners, ratepayers)
Electricity (PHEV40) $530/kWh per day 5.4 kWh 2,880 Distributed (car owners, ratepayers)
Biofuel (thermochemical) $3,100/gge per day 0.89 gge 2,760 Centralized (industry)
CTL (with CCS) $2,500/gge per day 0.89 gge 2,220 Centralized (industry)
Hydrogen (with CCS) $3,890/gge per day 0.45 gge 1,750 Centralized (industry) and distributed (retailers)
GTL $1,900/gge per day 0.89 gge 1,690 Centralized (industry)
Natural gas—CNG $910/gge per day 0.89 gge    810 Distributed (retailers and car owners)
Electricity (PHEV10) $370/kWh per day 1.75 kWh    650 Distributed (car owners, ratepayers)
Gasoline (new refinery—if needed) $595/gge per day 0.89 gge    530 Centralized (industry)

NOTE: Basis: 13,000 mi/yr and 40 mpgge for liquid and natural gas vehicles, 80 mpgge for hydrogen, and 4.0 mi/kWh for electric vehicles. PHEV10 gets 20 percent of miles on electric; PHEV40 gets 60 percent. Investment costs are explained in the individual fuel sections.

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