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A life-cycle assessment of battery electric and internal combustion engine vehicles: A case in Hebei Province, China

Shi, Sainan, Zhang, Haoran, Yang, Wen, Zhang, Qianru, Wang, Xuejun
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.228 pp. 606-618
batteries, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, cradle-to-grave, electric vehicles, electricity, electricity generation, gasoline, greenhouse gas emissions, industry, internal combustion engines, issues and policy, markets, nitrogen oxides, oils, particulates, petroleum, volatile organic compounds, China
Vehicle electrification has been rapidly promoted to aid the conventional energy shortage and reduce environmental pressures for light-duty passenger vehicles (LDPVs). Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are well positioned in the electric vehicle market. This article presents a cradle-to-grave assessment of energy consumption, CO2 emissions and emissions of VOC, CO, NOx, primary PM2.5 and PM10 for current (2015) and future (2020 and 2030) LDPVs in Hebei Province, China. The analysis addressed both the fuel life cycle and vehicle life cycle for conventional gasoline and battery electric LDPVs. A scenario analysis was carried out to evaluate the reduction potentials of different future policies. The results showed that the promotion of BEVs could effectively mitigate per-kilometer petroleum use by 98% and fossil fuel use by 25–50% relative to gasoline LDPVs. BEVs hold obvious advantages in CO2, VOCs, CO, NOx and PM2.5 emissions reduction, while the PM10 emissions of BEVs are higher than those of conventional internal combustion engine vehicles, mainly due to the high emission in the upstream industry process in electricity generation. The scenario analysis showed that the emissions of VOCs, CO, NOx, PM2.5 and PM10 will decrease by 56%, 70%, 27%, 24% and 17%, respectively, with the China Ⅵ oil standard coming into force in 2030 instead of 2020. The results stress that more stringent emission controls, higher BEV penetration, and cleaner electricity should be jointly applied to ensure a successful electrification future in China.