UCSB Automotive Materials Greenhouse Gas Comparison Model Version 4.0 Available

Brussels, 5 November 2013 – WorldAutoSteel has released Version 4.0 of its Automotive Materials Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Comparison Model. The model, developed by the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), helps users to analyze the environmental impact of new vehicle design. This allows automakers to realize emission savings over the full life cycle of a vehicle and is part of the steel sector’s contribution to a sustainable and competitive automotive industry. It can be downloaded for free here.

Version 4 model improvements were developed under the leadership of Dr. Roland Geyer of the University of California’s Bren School for Environmental Science and Management. This model is builds on the same peer-reviewed methodology from UCSB’s earlier model versions.

“Because of the complexities and options in life cycle assessment, or LCA, parameters, we felt it was critical to be transparent in our reporting. So we make the UCSB Model’s methodology available to those who need to understand its parameters,” notes Balzer. The peer-reviewed methodology report is available for download here.

LCA is being used in automotive, as well as in many other production sectors: in national legislation (biofuels US+CH), packaging (NED) and industry standards (EU: eco-labelling of products, energy performance of buildings). Many product sectors, including the automotive industry, use LCA on a voluntary basis to evaluate impacts.

“A life cycle assessment or LCA assists automakers in evaluating and reducing the total energy consumed and the lifetime GHG emissions of their products,” said Russ Balzer, LCA Project Manager, WorldAutoSteel. “The UCSB Model looks specifically at material substitution, but its data and parameters capture around 99 percent of the energy and GHG impacts of the studied automotive material substitutions.” The model enables evaluation of the difference in impact between alternative material vehicles of equivalent size, utility, equipment and powertrain configuration.

The Version 4 model is fully parameterized, and developed using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, making it very user-friendly and portable. Users get a free download of the model and user guide at the WorldAutoSteel website for use in conducting their own evaluations.

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