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Life cycle assessment of electric vehicle batteries

Electrification of the vehicle fleet is taking place at an increasing pace. A main driver is environmental protection, since there are no emissions at all during propulsion. Emissions and impacts in other parts of the life cycle can be assessed with life cycle assessment, LCA, in order to focus improvement efforts at the most significant impacts.

RISE has extensive experience of life cycle assessment of electric vehicle batteries from several Swedish and international projects, see literature to the right. One lesson is that life cycle assessment is needed to weigh indirect emissions in the use phase (read from the production of electricity) against emissions in the production phase. With an electricity mix corresponding to the world average, an electric car today has a much greater climate impact during the use phase than during production. The efficiency of the battery and charging is therefore of crucial importance for the total climate impact. So all measures to reduce the environmental and climate impact of battery production must be weighed against any losses during the use phase. We can do that with life cycle assessment.

 

Mats Zackrisson

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Mats Zackrisson

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Steffen Schellenberger

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Steffen Schellenberger

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