Material Matters: A Case Study
As the emissions resulting from driving the car (tank-to-wheels) are reduced with more efficient powertrains, there will be a greater chance that use-phase only regulations could result in unintended consequences. It is predicted that by 2020, emissions from the vehicle production phase could dominate over the use phase. It is a shift that is already occurring and needs to be addressed. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the most comprehensive methodology to account for all phases of the life cycle. We compared two BEVs, one made of aluminium and one using Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS), using the University of California Santa Barbara Automotive Energy & Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Model (UCSB Model), to determine the material choice impact on each vehicle’s total life cycle energy usage, from manufacture, to powering the vehicle during use, to recycling it at the end of its useful life.
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