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This study is dedicated to comparing the levelized operating costs of various types of power units and energy carriers for electric vehicles: battery systems, hydrogen-air fuel cells, and aluminum-air electrochemical generators. The operating cost considers the power unit itself, energy carrier, and associated charging infrastructure. Each electric vehicle type was calculated in two versions: a passenger electric car and a light duty commercial truck. It is shown that the most cost effective power unit is an aluminum-air generator. Its levelized operating cost is 1.5–2 times lower toward a battery system and 3–4 times lower toward fuel cells. The advantage of aluminum as energy carrier is the low cost and simple design of the corresponding power unit and charging infrastructure compared to those for battery and hydrogen power units. Aluminum recycling is key to its efficient use, this concept may become competitive in the aluminum-producing countries.
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