A new, far-reaching study of life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from passenger cars, including SUVs, draws sharp and subtle differences between the climate impacts of battery and fuel cell electric vehicles on the one hand and combustion vehicles on the other.
Detailed results can be directly summarized. Only battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) powered by renewable electricity can achieve the kind of deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from transportation that are in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global warming lower Much more than 2 degrees Celsius. There is no realistic path to this goal that relies on vehicles with combustion engines, including hybrids of any kind.
The study, conducted by the International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT), analyzes current and projected future greenhouse gas emissions attributable to every stage in the life cycles of both vehicles and fuels, from extraction and processing of raw materials through refining and manufacturing to operation and final disposal. The analysis was conducted separately and in depth for the European Union, the United States, China and India, and recorded the differences between those markets, which together account for about 70% of new car sales worldwide.
“An important result of the analysis is to show that life-cycle emissions trends are similar across all four regions, despite differences between them in vehicle mix, grid mix, etc. Already for today’s registered vehicles, electric suspension vehicles have better relative greenhouse gas emissions,” she said. Rachel Moncrieff, Deputy Director of ICCT, “
In addition to its global scope, the study is methodologically comprehensive in considering all types of relevant powertrains, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and a range of fuels including biofuels, electric fuels, hydrogen and electric. The greenhouse gas emissions during the life cycle of cars recorded in 2021 are compared with the emissions of cars expected to be recorded in 2030.
“Our aim with this study was to capture the elements that policy makers need in these key markets to fairly and critically evaluate different technology pathways for passenger cars,” said ICCT researcher George Baker, author of the study. “We know we need transformative change to avoid the worst effects of climate change, and the results show that some technologies will be able to remove carbon deeply while others clearly are not.”
The study’s methodology is innovative and distinct from other life-cycle analyzes in additional important ways. It takes into account the average lifetime carbon density of the fuel-electric mixture, and it takes into account changes in carbon density over the life of the vehicle given current energy policies. It also looks at real-world use rather than relying on official test values to estimate fuel and electricity consumption; This is particularly important in assessing the greenhouse gas emissions of hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). It uses the latest data on battery production on an industrial scale and takes into account regional supply chains, resulting in much lower estimates of greenhouse gas emissions from battery production than other studies. It is a factor in the near-term global warming potential from methane seepage in natural gas and natural gas-derived hydrogen pathways.
“Even for India and China, which are still highly dependent on coal power, the life-cycle benefits of electric power vehicles are there today,” said Peter Mok, managing director of ICCT in Europe. Noting the significance of the findings to the recently proposed changes by the European Union to the regulation on CO2 emissions for passenger cars, he added: “The results highlight the importance of decarbonizing the grid along with vehicle electrification. The life-cycle performance of greenhouse gases for electric vehicles will improve decarbonization From networks, regulations that promote electrification are essential to take advantage of the future benefits of renewable energy.”
Clean energy grids and electric vehicles are key to overcoming climate change and air pollution
Study: theicct.org/sites/default/file… r-cars-jul2021_0.pdf
Presented by the International Council on Clean Transportation
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