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Comprehensive Evaluation of the Sustainable Development of Battery Electric Vehicles in China

School of Economics and Management, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710064, China
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Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5635; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205635
Received: 29 August 2019 / Revised: 30 September 2019 / Accepted: 1 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
Due to the rapid growth in the total number of vehicles in China, energy consumption and environmental pollution are serious problems. The development of electric vehicles (EVs) has become one of the important measures for solving these problems. As EVs are in a period of rapid development, sustainability research on them is conducive to the timely discovery of—and solution to—problems in the development process, but current research on the sustainability of EVs is still scarce. Based on the strategic development direction of EVs in China, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were chosen as the research object of this study. The theory and method of the life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) were used to study the sustainability of BEVs. Specifically, the indicators of the life cycle assessment (LCA) were constructed, and the GaBi software was used to assess the environmental dimensions. The framework of life cycle costing (LCC) was used to assess the economic dimensions from the perspective of consumers. The indicators of the social life cycle assessment (SLCA) of stakeholders were constructed to assess the social dimension. Then, the method of the technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) was selected for multicriteria decision-making in order to integrate the three dimensions. A specific conclusion was drawn from a comparison of BEVs and internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). The study found that the life cycle sustainability of ICEVs in China was better than that of BEVs. This result might be unexpected, but there were reasons for it. Through sensitivity analysis, it was concluded that the current power structure and energy consumption in the operation phase of BEVs had a higher environmental impact, and the high cost of batteries and the government subsidy policy had a higher impact on the cost of BEVs. Corresponding suggestions are put forward at the end of the article.
Keywords: BEVs; sustainable development; LCSA; LCA; LCC; SLCA; MCDM BEVs; sustainable development; LCSA; LCA; LCC; SLCA; MCDM
MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, Y.; Zhou, G.; Li, T.; Wei, X. Comprehensive Evaluation of the Sustainable Development of Battery Electric Vehicles in China. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5635.

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