Technology Collaboration Programme

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Task 30

Assessment of Environmental Effects of Electric Vehicles

Objective of Task

The aim of Task 30 (2016 – 2020) is to analyse and assess environmental effects of EVs on water, land use, resources and air based on LCA and in cooperation with participating countries in the HEV TCP. Task 30 is using the results of the completed Task 19 “Life Cycle Assessment of Electric Vehicles” (2011 – 2015, led by Joanneum Reseach) as a foundation to subsequently examine the environmental effects – benefits and impacts - of EVs, based on LCA. Observing the three phases of LCA, namely production, operation and dismantling of EVs, various environmental effects of EVs on water, land use, resources, and air, among others, are analysed and assessed. Thereby a strong emphasis is put on the comparison of environmental effects between pure battery EVs (BEVs) and Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles using gasoline and diesel.

In recent years, the focus in environmental assessments of EVs was on global warming and primary energy consumption. But now it is recognised that other impacts gain additional relevance and must be addressed by life cycle based comparisons like water, land use, resource consumption, local PM and NOx emissions. Therefore, Task 30 focuses also on the following topics covering methodologies, data and case studies:

  • Effects of EVs on water (emissions to water, waste water, “Water Footprint” of EVs).
  • Effects on EVs on air (local emissions and effects of NOx, PM and CxHy, human health effect and non-energy related emissions from tires and brakes).
  • Effects on EVs on land use – resources - waste (land use, occupation and degradation, demand of renewable and fossil resources, recycling).
  • Overall environmental effects and their assessment (comparing and assessing different impact categories, single score methodologies, stakeholder involvement).

working method

Within the Task, methodologies are being developed to assist countries in implementing EVs, by identifying opportunities to maximise the environmental benefits. In addition, various case studies are to be analysed, and shared with networking and information exchange. The Task proceeds by organising a series of expert workshops addressing the following objectives:

  • methodologies on assessment of environmental effects,
  • analysis of necessary and available data,
  • overview of international studies/literature,
  • analysis of current knowledge and future challenges,
  • overview of key actors and stakeholders and their involvement,
  • communication strategies to stakeholders, and
  • summarising further R&D demand.