Real-world emissions of nanoparticles, particulate mass and black carbon from a plug-in hybrid vehicle compared to conventional gasoline vehicles

P. Karjalainen, V. Leinonen, M. Olin, K. Vesisenaho, P. Marjanen, A. Järvinen, P. Simonen, L. Markkula, H. Kuuluvainen, J. Keskinen, S. Mikkonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)


Among various Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) charged from the grid are seen as the most advanced ones, as they can drive dozens of kilometers using only the electric engine and thus producing less tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions than vehicles with internal combustion engines or other HEVs. The proportion of PHEVs among all vehicles is still relatively low but increasing rapidly in many countries. However, the real-world emissions from these novel hybrid technologies are not straightforward to estimate. This study investigates multiple properties of the particle emissions of a PHEV, with gasoline direct injection, GDI, compared to two conventional gasoline vehicles, one with port fuel injection, PFI and one with GDI. Distance-based emission factors (EFs) for each vehicle in various driving modes, including battery-hold and battery-charge driving modes for the PHEV, were analyzed. The results showed that the PHEV produced smaller particles in size, resulting that particle mass (PM) and black carbon (BC) were lower by factor of ten in comparison to EFs from the vehicles with PFI and GDI engines. The PHEV consistently emitted lower distance-based EFs than the PFI and GDI vehicles in all driving modes, though EF for particle number (PN) in battery-charge mode was close to the EFs from the other two vehicles. The study also found that the vehicle cold start effect was present in the case of the shorter driving route but not as significant in the longer one. Overall, the study demonstrated that PHEVs could produce lower particle and BC emissions compared to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. The vehicle cold start and systematic combustion engine restart effects still can have significant impacts on particle emissions, especially in shorter trips.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100454
JournalEnvironmental Advances
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Black carbon
  • Gasoline vehicle
  • Particle emission
  • Particle mass
  • particle number
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Real-world emissions of nanoparticles, particulate mass and black carbon from a plug-in hybrid vehicle compared to conventional gasoline vehicles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this