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Open AccessArticle

Resource Efficiency Assessment—Comparing a Plug-In Hybrid with a Conventional Combustion Engine

1
Group Environmental Protection, Daimler AG, Stuttgart 70546, Germany
2
Chair of Sustainable Engineering, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, Berlin 10623, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mario Schmidt
Resources 2016, 5(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010005
Received: 22 October 2015 / Revised: 11 December 2015 / Accepted: 22 December 2015 / Published: 21 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consideration of Abiotic Natural Resources in Life Cycle Assessments)
The strong economic growth in recent years has led to an intensive use of natural resources, which causes environmental stress as well as restrictions on the availability of resources. Therefore, a more efficient use of resources is necessary as an important contribution to sustainable development. The ESSENZ method presented in this article comprehensively assesses a product’s resource efficiency by going beyond existing approaches and considering the pollution of the environment as well as the physical and socio-economic availability of resources. This paper contains a short description of the ESSENZ methodology as well as a case study of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W 205)—comparing the conventional C 250 (petrol engine) with the C 350 e Plug-In Hybrid (electric motor and petrol engine). By applying the ESSENZ method it can be shown that the use of more and different materials for the Plug-In-Hybrid influences the dimensions physical and socio-economic availability significantly. However, for environmental impacts, especially climate change and summer smog, clear advantages of the C 350 e occur due to lower demand of fossil energy carriers. As shown within the case study, the when applying the ESSENZ method a comprehensive evaluation of the used materials and fossil energy carriers can be achieved. View Full-Text
Keywords: resource efficiency; life cycle assessment; physical availability; socio-economic availability; environmental impact resource efficiency; life cycle assessment; physical availability; socio-economic availability; environmental impact
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MDPI and ACS Style

Henßler, M.; Bach, V.; Berger, M.; Finkbeiner, M.; Ruhland, K. Resource Efficiency Assessment—Comparing a Plug-In Hybrid with a Conventional Combustion Engine. Resources 2016, 5, 5.

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