The light duty vehicle fleet in the UK is being electrified aggressively, with an ambitious target to ban the sale of all new internal combustion engine cars by 2030. At the same time, the electricity grid is also undergoing rapid decarbonization, potentially paving the way for a much greener use phase for electric vehicles. The paper presents a holistic prospective life cycle assessment of the environmental implications of these two interrelated transitions, while also considering an alternative scenario characterised by a gradual shift from traditional private vehicle ownership to shared mobility schemes. The results for both scenarios point to clear benefits in terms of reduced demand for non-renewable energy, carbon emissions and local air quality. However, a decisive behavioural shift towards shared mobility is shown to be crucial in order to offset the increased demand for Li, Co, Ni, Mn and Cu for electric vehicle power trains, and to avoid an otherwise potential increase in abiotic resource depletion and human toxicity impacts.
Kamran, MashaelHutchinson, Allan
School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics
Year of publication: 2021Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-07-23