Life cycle assessment of electric mobility: answers and challenges—Zurich, April 6, 2011

CONFERENCE REPORT: 43rd DISCUSSION FORUM ON LCA

Abstract

Introduction

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.

Conclusion

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).

Keywords

Electric mobility Life cycle assessment LCA forum Li-ion battery 

References

  1. ecoinvent Centre (2010) ecoinvent data v2.2, ecoinvent reports No. 1–25. Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories, Duebendorf, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  2. Ishihara K, Kihira N, Terada N, Iwahori T, Nishimura K (2002) Life cycle analysis of large-size lithium-ion secondary batteries developed in the Japanese national project. In: Proceedings from 5th Ecobalance conference, Tsukuba, November 2002Google Scholar
  3. Leuenberger M, Frischknecht R (2009) Tiered life cycle assessment of electric and fossil fueled cars; confidential report. ESU-services Ltd., UsterGoogle Scholar
  4. Zackrisson M, Avellán L, Orlenius J (2010) Life cycle assessment of lithium-ion batteries for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles—critical issues. J Clean Prod 18(15):1517–1527CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ESU-Services Ltd.UsterSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations