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Article

Life Cycle Assessments on Battery Electric Vehicles and Electrolytic Hydrogen: The Need for Calculation Rules and Better Databases on Electricity

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Air Liquide Forschung und Entwicklung GmbH, Gwinnerstrasse 27–33, 60388 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
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Air Liquide S.A., Research & Development Innovation Campus Paris, 1 chemin de la Porte des Loges, 78350 Les Loges-En-Josas, France
3
Industrial Design Engineering, Product Innovation Management, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 5, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eckard Helmers
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5250; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095250
Received: 30 March 2021 / Revised: 30 April 2021 / Accepted: 3 May 2021 / Published: 7 May 2021
LCAs of electric cars and electrolytic hydrogen production are governed by the consumption of electricity. Therefore, LCA benchmarking is prone to choices on electricity data. There are four issues: (1) leading Life Cycle Impact (LCI) databases suffer from inconvenient uncertainties and inaccuracies, (2) electricity mix in countries is rapidly changing, year after year, (3) the electricity mix is strongly fluctuating on an hourly and daily basis, which requires time-based allocation approaches, and (4) how to deal with nuclear power in benchmarking. This analysis shows that: (a) the differences of the GHG emissions of the country production mix in leading databases are rather high (30%), (b) in LCA, a distinction must be made between bundled and unbundled registered electricity certificates (RECs) and guarantees of origin (GOs); the residual mix should not be applied in LCA because of its huge inaccuracy, (c) time-based allocation rules for renewables are required to cope with periods of overproduction, (d) benchmarking of electricity is highly affected by the choice of midpoints and/or endpoint systems, and (e) there is an urgent need for a new LCI database, based on measured emission data, continuously kept up-to-date, transparent, and open access. View Full-Text
Keywords: LCA manual; guarantee of origin; electricity LCI database; renewable energy; allocation; EPD; residual mix; BEV; FCV; green hydrogen LCA manual; guarantee of origin; electricity LCI database; renewable energy; allocation; EPD; residual mix; BEV; FCV; green hydrogen
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MDPI and ACS Style

Olindo, R.; Schmitt, N.; Vogtländer, J. Life Cycle Assessments on Battery Electric Vehicles and Electrolytic Hydrogen: The Need for Calculation Rules and Better Databases on Electricity. Sustainability 2021, 13, 5250. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095250

AMA Style

Olindo R, Schmitt N, Vogtländer J. Life Cycle Assessments on Battery Electric Vehicles and Electrolytic Hydrogen: The Need for Calculation Rules and Better Databases on Electricity. Sustainability. 2021; 13(9):5250. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095250

Chicago/Turabian Style

Olindo, Roberta, Nathalie Schmitt, and Joost Vogtländer. 2021. "Life Cycle Assessments on Battery Electric Vehicles and Electrolytic Hydrogen: The Need for Calculation Rules and Better Databases on Electricity" Sustainability 13, no. 9: 5250. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095250

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