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World Electric Vehicle Journal is published by MDPI from Volume 9 issue 1 (2018). Articles in this Issue were published by The World Electric Vehicle Association (WEVA) and its member the European Association for e-Mobility (AVERE), the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), and the Electric Vehicle Association of Asia Pacific (EVAAP). They are hosted by MDPI on mdpi.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with AVERE.
Open AccessArticle

Environmental performance of a battery electric vehicle: a descriptive Life Cycle Assessment approach

1
Mobility and Automotive Technology Research Group (MOBI), Faculty of Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
2
ETEC Faculty of Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
3
MOSI-T Faculty of Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
World Electr. Veh. J. 2010, 4(4), 782-786; https://doi.org/10.3390/wevj4040782
Published: 31 December 2010
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Abstract

In this paper the environmental impacts of a battery electric vehicle (BEV) are assessed in a Belgian context. A full descriptive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is performed, including the well-to-wheel (WTW) emissions (for a BEV these are the emissions coming from the electricity production) and the cradle-tograve emissions (related directly and indirectly to the production and the end-of-life (EOL) processing of the vehicle). First an overview of the energy consumption of the different vehicle technologies is given. This clearly shows that battery electric vehicles are less energy intensive than other vehicle technologies. Secondly, the environmental impacts of a BEV during its entire life cycle are assessed in detail. This illustrates the relative importance of the manufacturing step for a BEV and the strongly reduced environmental impact when recycling the battery. Furthermore, the influence of the electricity supply mix on the overall environmental impact of a BEV is assessed. The investigated electricity production plants include renewable and non-renewable resources: wind, hydro, nuclear, biogas, natural gas, oil and coal. The assessed impact categories are: acidification, human health and the greenhouse effect (GHE). A BEV has a better scores than a petrol vehicle except for the full coal or oil electricity production scenario, for which the BEV can have a bad score for human health and acidification.
Keywords: LCA; electric vehicle; Climate change; gasoline engine; electricity production LCA; electric vehicle; Climate change; gasoline engine; electricity production
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Messagie, M.; Boureima, F.; Matheys, J.; Sergeant, N.; Timmermans, J.-M.; Macharis, C.; Van Mierlo, J. Environmental performance of a battery electric vehicle: a descriptive Life Cycle Assessment approach. World Electr. Veh. J. 2010, 4, 782-786.

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