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Environmental Life Cycle Impacts of Automotive Batteries Based on a Literature Review

LIFE—Institute for Climate, Energy and Society, Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Waagner-Biro-Straße 100, 8020 Graz, Styria, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(23), 6345;
Received: 6 November 2020 / Revised: 27 November 2020 / Accepted: 28 November 2020 / Published: 1 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Electric Vehicles)
We compiled 50 publications from the years 2005–2020 about life cycle assessment (LCA) of Li-ion batteries to assess the environmental effects of production, use, and end of life for application in electric vehicles. Investigated LCAs showed for the production of a battery pack per kWh battery capacity a median of 280 kWh/kWh_bc (25%-quantile–75%-quantile: 200–500 kWh/kWh_bc) for the primary energy consumption and a median of 120 kg CO2-eq/kWh_bc (25%-quantile–75%-quantile: 70–175 kg CO2-eq/kWh_bc) for greenhouse gas emissions. We expect results for current batteries to be in the lower range. Over the lifetime of an electric vehicle, these emissions relate to 20 g CO2-eq/km (25%-quantile–75%-quantile: 10–50 g CO2-eq/km). Considering recycling processes, greenhouse gas savings outweigh the negative environmental impacts of recycling and can reduce the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by a median value of 20 kg CO2-eq/kWh_bc (25%-quantile–75%-quantile: 5–29 kg CO2-eq/kWh_bc). Overall, many LCA results overestimated the environmental impact of cell manufacturing, due to the assessments of relatively small or underutilized production facilities. Material emissions, like from mining and especially processing from metals and the cathode paste, could have been underestimated, due to process-based assumptions and non-regionalized primary data. Second-life applications were often not considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: LCA; electric vehicle; battery; literature review LCA; electric vehicle; battery; literature review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aichberger, C.; Jungmeier, G. Environmental Life Cycle Impacts of Automotive Batteries Based on a Literature Review. Energies 2020, 13, 6345.

AMA Style

Aichberger C, Jungmeier G. Environmental Life Cycle Impacts of Automotive Batteries Based on a Literature Review. Energies. 2020; 13(23):6345.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aichberger, Christian, and Gerfried Jungmeier. 2020. "Environmental Life Cycle Impacts of Automotive Batteries Based on a Literature Review" Energies 13, no. 23: 6345.

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