Next Article in Journal
Application of Learning Management System (LMS) during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Sustainable Acceptance Model of the Expansion Technology Approach
Next Article in Special Issue
Future Policy and Technological Advancement Recommendations for Enhanced Adoption of Electric Vehicles in South Africa: A Survey and Review
Previous Article in Journal
The Applications and Complexity Analysis Based on Supply Chain Enterprises’ Green Behaviors under Evolutionary Game Framework
Previous Article in Special Issue
Possibility of a Solution of the Sustainability of Transport and Mobility with the Application of Discrete Computer Simulation—A Case Study
Article

A Life Cycle Environmental Impact Comparison between Traditional, Hybrid, and Electric Vehicles in the European Context

Department of Engineering, University of Palermo, 90128 Palermo, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Tommi Inkinen, Tan Yigitcanlar and Mark Wilson
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10992; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131910992
Received: 10 September 2021 / Revised: 23 September 2021 / Accepted: 24 September 2021 / Published: 3 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Mobility and Transport)
Global warming (GW) and urban pollution focused a great interest on hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as cleaner alternatives to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). The environmental impact related to the use of both ICEV and HEV mainly depends on the fossil fuel used by the thermal engines, while, in the case of the BEV, depends on the energy sources employed to produce electricity. Moreover, the production phase of each vehicle may also have a relevant environmental impact, due to the manufacturing processes and the materials employed. Starting from these considerations, the authors carried out a fair comparison of the environmental impact generated by three different vehicles characterized by different propulsion technology, i.e., an ICEV, an HEV, and a BEV, following the life cycle analysis methodology, i.e., taking into account five different environmental impact categories generated during all phases of the entire life of the vehicles, from raw material collection and parts production, to vehicle assembly and on-road use, finishing hence with the disposal phase. An extensive scenario analysis was also performed considering different electricity mixes and vehicle lifetime mileages. The results of this study confirmed the importance of the life cycle approach for the correct determination of the real impact related to the use of passenger cars and showed that the GW impact of a BEV during its entire life amounts to roughly 60% of an equivalent ICEV, while acidifying emissions and particulate matter were doubled. The HEV confirmed an excellent alternative to ICEV, showing good compromise between GW impact (85% with respect to the ICEV), terrestrial acidification, and particulate formation (similar to the ICEV). In regard to the mineral source deployment, a serious concern derives from the lithium-ion battery production for BEV. The results of the scenario analysis highlight how the environmental impact of a BEV may be altered by the lifetime mileage of the vehicle, and how the carbon footprint of the electricity used may nullify the ecological advantage of the BEV. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle analysis; passenger car; environmental impact; hybrid electric vehicle; battery electric vehicle life cycle analysis; passenger car; environmental impact; hybrid electric vehicle; battery electric vehicle
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Pipitone, E.; Caltabellotta, S.; Occhipinti, L. A Life Cycle Environmental Impact Comparison between Traditional, Hybrid, and Electric Vehicles in the European Context. Sustainability 2021, 13, 10992. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131910992

AMA Style

Pipitone E, Caltabellotta S, Occhipinti L. A Life Cycle Environmental Impact Comparison between Traditional, Hybrid, and Electric Vehicles in the European Context. Sustainability. 2021; 13(19):10992. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131910992

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pipitone, Emiliano, Salvatore Caltabellotta, and Leonardo Occhipinti. 2021. "A Life Cycle Environmental Impact Comparison between Traditional, Hybrid, and Electric Vehicles in the European Context" Sustainability 13, no. 19: 10992. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131910992

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop