Comparative LCA of Electrified Heavy Vehicles in Urban Use. Master of Science Thesis in the Master's Degree Programme Technology, Society and the Environment

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Comparative LCA of Electrified Heavy Vehicles in Urban Use. Master of Science Thesis in the Master's Degree Programme Technology, Society and the Environment
Authors: Laudon, Nils Petter
Inzunza Soriano, Marcos
Abstract: The Volvo FE Hybrid is one of Volvo's latest trucks and it has been launched as a fuel efficient alternative to the conventional, diesel fueled Volvo FE truck. To be able to determine if the Volvo FE Hybrid is preferable from an environmental point of view, considering the whole life cycle, a life cycle assessment (LCA) has been performed on the drivetrain of the hybrid- and the plug-in hybrid configurations. The analysis has been made for both a distribution truck and a waste collection vehicle. A dozen components in the hybrid drivetrain have been identified, including a lithium-ion battery and an electric motor. These components were studied throughout their life cycle: raw material extraction, material processing, manufacturing processes, transportation, use phase, maintenance and disposal. In order to quantitatively assess the environmental impact of all lifecycle stages, four different environmental indicators have been used: global warming potential, acidification potential, human toxicity potential and resource depletion potential. In addition, energy use and two weighting methods, EPS and Eco-indicator 99, have been used. The result shows that for the distribution vehicle it is the step to hybridization that gives the largest environmental gain. Modification to a plug-in hybrid configuration of the same vehicle showed only a little additional environmental benefit. Hybridization of the waste collection vehicle gives environmental benefit for all categories except the EPS weighting system, where no environmental savings are obtained. In this case a shift from hybrid to plug-in hybrid configuration gives a relatively large environmental benefit compared to hybridization only. Furthermore, it is shown that the use phase, or well-to-wheel, has by far the largest impact of all life cycle stages, for almost all environmental categories (10 to 40 times larger). The exceptions are the human toxicity potential and the EPS system where the well-to-wheel stage has an impact in the same order of magnitude as the cradle to grave lifecycle of the drivetrain for all vehicle types considered (with the use phase excluded). Looking at the life cycle of the drivetrain, the stage with largest environmental impact is raw material extraction and material transformation. The lithium-ion battery has the largest environmental impact of all components, all categories considered. Second largest impact is shared by the DC/AC converter and electric motor, depending on which indicator that is considered. The largest uncertainties identified in the study are relating to the plug-in hybrid configuration, due to the fact that it is still a concept. Some uncertainties are fuel consumption, battery life, size and chemistry. The conclusions from the study are that the plug-in configuration is preferable to the hybrid version for the waste collection vehicle. In the case of the distribution truck, it is hard to justify a shift from hybrid to plug-in hybrid configuration, due to the small additional environmental gain made and the uncertainties mentioned earlier. Keywords: LCA, hybrid vehicle, plug-in hybrid, lithium-ion battery, truck, drivetrain, Volvo FE Hybrid
Keywords: Miljöbioteknik;Energi;Environmental Biotechnology;Energy
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för energi och miljö
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Energy and Environment
Series/Report no.: Report - Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology : 2012:23
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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