Advances and critical aspects in the life-cycle assessment of battery electric cars

  • Concerns over climate change, air pollution, and oil supply have stimulated the market for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The environmental impacts of BEVs are typically evaluated through a standardized life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Here, the LCA literature was surveyed with the objective to sketch the major trends and challenges in the impact assessment of BEVs. It was found that BEVs tend to be more energy efficient and less polluting than conventional cars. BEVs decrease exposure to air pollution as their impacts largely result from vehicle production and electricity generation outside of urban areas. The carbon footprint of BEVs, being highly sensitive to the carbon intensity of the electricity mix, may decrease in the nearby future through a shift to renewable energies and technology improvements in general. A minority of LCAs covers impact categories other than carbon footprint, revealing a mixed picture. Up to date little attention is paid so far in LCA to the efficiency advantage of BEVs in urban traffic, the gap between on-road and certified energy consumption, the local exposure to air pollutants and noise and the aging of emissions control technologies in conventional cars. Improvements of BEV components, directed charging, second-life reuse of vehicle batteries, as well as vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-grid applications will significantly reduce the environmental impacts of BEVs in the future.

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Author:Eckard Helmers, Martin Weiss
Parent Title (German):Energy and Emission Control Technologies
Publisher:Dove Press
Document Type:Article (specialist journals)
Date of OPUS upload:2022/11/28
Date of first Publication:2017/02/01
Publishing University:Hochschule Trier
Release Date:2022/11/28
Tag:China; carbon footprint; energy use; environmental impact; health impact; impact categories; toxic emissions
GND Keyword:Kraftfahrzeugindustrie; Elektromobilität; Batteriefahrzeug; Umweltbilanz; CO2-Bilanz
Page Number:18
First Page:1
Last Page:18
Departments:FB Umweltplanung/-technik (UCB)
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 62 Ingenieurwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell 4.0 International