Life cycle assessment of electric mobility: answers and challenges—Zurich, April 6, 2011
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Alternative ways and means of transportation are necessary in order to reduce the environmental impacts of mobility. In the recent years, biofuels were first seen as a main option and then LCA showed also possible hazards of this development. Recently, public interest is rapidly shifting towards electromobility. Therefore it is necessary to also gain better knowledge about the environmental impacts of this technology. This includes a modelling of the pathways of the necessary increase in electricity supply and an appropriate modelling of battery manufacture.
Summary of data presented
At this forum most recent results of life cycle assessment studies of electric car driving compared to driving fossil- and agro-fuelled cars were presented. The environmental performance of individual and public electric mobility was discussed in view of promising win–win strategies. Policy implications and research needs derived from current LCA work were highlighted.
The 43rd LCA forum profited from the input of several topical experts, covering aspects such as electricity demand of electric vehicles in everyday life, marginal electricity supply mixes, design, performance and manufacture of batteries as well as resource and raw materials availability. The following main conclusions were drawn: The main areas of improvement identified during the day are: weight of the car, battery manufacture, electricity mix used to load the batteries, technological dynamics (efficiency gains) and societal dynamics (changes in mobility habits, changing status symbols). All presentations shown during the day are available for download (www.lcaforum.ch).
KeywordsElectric mobility Life cycle assessment LCA forum Li-ion battery
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