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Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Analysis of Multiple Vehicle Fuel Pathways in China

Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
China Automotive Energy Research Center, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2183;
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint: As an Environmental Sustainability Indicator)
PDF [2266 KB, uploaded 27 November 2017]


The Tsinghua University Life Cycle Analysis Model (TLCAM) is applied to calculate the life cycle fossil energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for more than 20 vehicle fuel pathways in China. In addition to conventional gasoline and diesel, these include coal- and gas-based vehicle fuels, and electric vehicle (EV) pathways. The results indicate the following. (1) China’s current dependence on coal and relative low-efficiency processes limits the potential for most alternative fuel pathways to decrease energy consumption and emissions; (2) Future low-carbon electricity pathways offer more obvious advantages, with coal-based pathways needing to adopt carbon dioxide capture and storage technology to compete; (3) A well-to-wheels analysis of the fossil energy consumption of vehicles fueled by compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) showed that they are comparable to conventional gasoline vehicles. However, importing rather than domestically producing LNG for vehicle use can decrease domestic GHG emissions by 35% and 31% compared with those of conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles, respectively; (4) The manufacturing and recovery of battery and vehicle in the EV analysis has significant impact on the overall ability of EVs to decrease fossil energy consumption and GHG emissions from ICEVs. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle analysis; carbon footprint; vehicle fuel; energy consumption; greenhouse gas life cycle analysis; carbon footprint; vehicle fuel; energy consumption; greenhouse gas

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Peng, T.; Zhou, S.; Yuan, Z.; Ou, X. Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Analysis of Multiple Vehicle Fuel Pathways in China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2183.

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