GRA
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GCC: LowCVP LCA study finds matching battery size with vehicle use is crucial for the environment

Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:45 pm

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2018/09/20180914-lowcvp.html

A new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study by Ricardo for the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) across a broad range of vehicle sectors finds that the relative contribution of each vehicle life cycle stage is highly dependent on the vehicle type and powertrain technology as well as what assumptions are made about a vehicle’s operational life, mileage and duty cycle.

For electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles the carbon intensity of the power grid is also a key factor in terms of the vehicle’s full life cycle emissions.

Well-to-wheel CO2e emissions of current electric vehicles are already significantly lower (40-60%) as a proportion of full lifetime emissions than those of typical current passenger cars (70-85%) and this difference can increase as the electricity grid becomes increasingly decarbonized.

However, if a race for bigger and bigger batteries is left unchecked, EVs doing low mileages could undermine some of the potential benefits, the report finds.

The environmental impacts associated with the production phase, in particular, for road vehicles will become increasingly important in the context of the full life cycle and, therefore, the focus of more policy attention as governments around the world strive to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets.

The Ricardo study focuses on providing insights into how life cycle CO2e emissions vary by vehicle segment and powertrain technology. It considers ‘L-category’ (micro) vehicles, passenger cars, heavy duty trucks and buses across four life cycle stages: vehicle production, fuel production, vehicle use and vehicle end-of-life.

For larger, heavy duty trucks, life cycle CO2e emissions are overwhelmingly from vehicle use (>95%); unsurprising given the high utilization and lifetime mileages of these types of vehicles. In this sector using lower carbon fuels and energy sources will deliver the greatest carbon reductions in the near term.

For passenger cars, embedded GHG emissions from vehicle production and end-of-life account for 10-30% of total life cycle GHG emissions for conventional ICEVs and 20-95% of total life cycle GHG emissions for BEVs (depending on electricity carbon intensity).

For smaller vehicles, such as passenger cars and micro vehicles, there is much greater sensitivity in each life cycle stage; often more than 50% of the overall impact comes in the manufacturing stage.

For a medium-sized passenger car, embedded emissions are typically 5-8 tCO2e for gasoline ICE, and 6-16 tCO2e for BEV, depending on size of battery pack and assumed production emissions factor. . . .

There's a direct link to the study (54 pgs),
Understanding the life cycle GHG emissions
for different vehicle types and powertrain
technologies

in the article.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

smkettner
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Re: GCC: LowCVP LCA study finds matching battery size with vehicle use is crucial for the environment

Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:30 pm

If the battery is sized correctly and people do not buy them..... does no good.
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DarthPuppy
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Re: GCC: LowCVP LCA study finds matching battery size with vehicle use is crucial for the environment

Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:03 pm

True, except that the market presently has a variety of battery ranges out there and some people are still buying BEVs with 100 miles or less range despite there being 200+ range options. Not all buyers are range anxiety constricted or perceive the 'value' in buying a car with a larger than needed battery and therefore aren't willing to pay the additional premium. That is one reason I'm very glad to see a variety of options in the market. Some might be deciding based on their understanding about not buying more range than needed is greener than buying bigger batteries.

It is a real shame that Tesla won't sell the SR version of the 3. That sales data could be rather enlightening into the range/price sensitivity in the market. Would I like to have Tesla range? Yes. Am I williing to pay that premium? No. Part of my personal decision is the concept of not consuming more battery production capacity than is needed by my driving. But a big part of it is the cost of said battery range. But I don't know how well my particular decision making lines up with the rest of the marketplace and that is a big question the automakers desperately need to decipher.

Thanks GRA for a post weighing in on this balancing point. This suggests that Nissan's approach has been fairly green oriented, especially when they offer different range options at different price points (which they did for a few years IIRC). Does anyone other than Tesla and Nissan do that?
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smkettner
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Re: GCC: LowCVP LCA study finds matching battery size with vehicle use is crucial for the environment

Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:51 am

I agree it would seem to be self balancing at this point. Trouble is getting the other 99% to go electric may take a bit larger than needed battery. Two+ car households may tend to have a long range and a short range vehicle to balance convenience and cost.

I still think the short range Model 3 will get build next year. Tesla really need to focus on profit and cash flow for the rest of this year. Also as the production gains efficiency the SR model will be easier to make a profit.

Batteries with a lower environmental cost will be the real solution.
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
LEAF traded at 45,400 miles for a RAV4-EV
I-Pace on order for end of 2018 delivery

DarthPuppy
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Re: GCC: LowCVP LCA study finds matching battery size with vehicle use is crucial for the environment

Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:55 am

Yup, as a 2+ car household, our 2013 Leaf is working great for the local stuff and the Clarity is working great for the longer range stuff. If the 2018 Leaf had the longer range that the 2019.5 Leaf is rumored to have, I'd probably have gone that route. Both were in my price range and would get the job done well. But as you said, the real challenge is to convert the other 99% of drivers. I think that is where the PHEVs can really help with this transition. And if done right (i.e., Clarity, Volt, i3Rex) these can decimate many drivers' use of gasoline while introducing them to the many benefits of BEV. Ones like the C350e, which really aren't for EV driving but rather hybrid driving that can get better fuel economy than non-plugin hybrids, can help to reduce gas use, but really won't introduce EV driving to the consumer. But they do allow smaller batteries to be deployed, which across the fleet can serve to cut gas consumption considerably.

I haven't studied this, but I would think an analysis where battery capacity is a constrained/expensive resource would go something along the lines of:
- One Tesla takes 90kwh (assuming that is what the 90 stands for in the Model 90?) of batteries and that one car allows the owner to replace their daily roundtrip ICEV commute of (say) 45 miles and have 200+ miles spare capacity for extra side trips, etc.
- That same battery capacity allocated to 3 2017 Leafs with 30kwh batteries would allow 3 owners to replace the same commute, for a savings of 135 miles daily from being driven on gas, and each would have 50+ miles of spare capacity for extra side trips, etc.
- That same battery capacity allocated to 9 PHEVs with 20+ miles EV range would allow 9 owners to replace the same commute, for a savings of 180 miles daily from being driven on gas, but of course this does require that each end up still using gas on a daily basis. Not as many people are going to feel good about this option on an individual contributor basis, but on a fleet wide basis, this approach would reduce gas use by more than the Tesla or Leaf examples above. And IIUC, fleet fuel economy standards are what the automakers are trying to achieve to meet regulatory pressures around the world with a few compliance models for the few markets that are pushing zero emission targets.
- And I think the sweet spot is the Volt and Clarity where that same capacity can produce 4-5 cars that barely cover that 45 mile commute for a savings of 180 - 225 miles from gas power while also providing good exposure to the joys of EV driving.

Note: The above numbers are rough cut calculations. While I know the newer (pre-2018) model Leaf had a 30kwh battery, I'm guessing at some of the other numbers plugged in to the above as I haven't researched each model and their battery size. I know the Clarity is 17kwh and gets 47+/- mile EV range, so 90kwh of Tesla batteries would equal 5 Clarity. I'm guessing a Volt is comparable.

On the above basis, I see why some automakers are pushing the PHEV rather than producing competitive BEV models. Unless we get more of the regulatory targets to focus on zero emission choices, they will likely focus on fleet fuel efficiency, which would favor PHEV over BEV. On an individual consumer basis, the pure BEV has many compelling factors in favor of it. But thus far, there haven't been enough consumers clamoring for BEVs to convince the automakers this is where they should invest.
'13 Leaf SL
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LeftieBiker
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Re: GCC: LowCVP LCA study finds matching battery size with vehicle use is crucial for the environment

Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:21 pm

I think that is where the PHEVs can really help with this transition. And if done right (i.e., Clarity, Volt, i3Rex) these can decimate many drivers' use of gasoline while introducing them to the many benefits of BEV.


I don't think the i3 REx is "done right" from reports of its (lack of) reliability. It appears to have both design issues and build issues.
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PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

SageBrush
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Re: GCC: LowCVP LCA study finds matching battery size with vehicle use is crucial for the environment

Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:00 pm

What is the GWP of a battery produced at a carbon free factory ?
What is the GWP of a battery recycled into a new battery at a carbon free factory ?

Conclusion: looking at the battery size as a surrogate for GWP as if all factories are the same leads to GIGO.
Consumers who shop with 'Green' intent are best served by paying attention to the factory CO2 energy intensity.

In this Tesla reigns supreme; I think followed by Toyota. All the other *EV manufacturers are as bad as Detroit.
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Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
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-----
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GRA
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Re: GCC: LowCVP LCA study finds matching battery size with vehicle use is crucial for the environment

Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:50 pm

^^^DarthPuppy

This is one of the reasons I'm in favor of PHEVs, as hastening the transition to electrification while having the largest near-term effect on reducing fossil-fuel use. I also feel that unless batteries can be made a lot less heavy, PHFCEVs may be the best fossil-fuel-free solution at least for single-car all-trips households, or else as the road trip vehicle in 2+ EV households. Always assuming that home/work charging is available, of course, but then I'm also in favor of smaller-battery (20-35 mile AER) PHEVs that can be fully charged off-peak using only L1, to maximize the number of customers who can home charge while eliminating the hassle and expense of upgrading electric infrastructure to provide L2, not to mention keeping the cost of the cars down as well.

I think for a PHEV, L1 at both ends of the commute is better than L2 at one end, as it lowers the battery size, weight and cost while also boosting the vehicle's efficiency. Of course, having L2 at both ends is better still, but see expense. L1 or low power L2 is also best matched to the power density of PV mounted over parking lots, which will need to be the norm going forward.
Last edited by GRA on Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

DarthPuppy
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Re: GCC: LowCVP LCA study finds matching battery size with vehicle use is crucial for the environment

Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:30 pm

Re: the i3Rex, my comment is about the balance between having good EV only range and the ability to go further when needed. Reading some of the posts on this forum, the Leaf would appear to be the worst car out there. I was not attempting to compare build quality and reliability in this look at which battery size approach is more green.

Re: the greenness of the battery factory, that is a very good point in that is something that would be good to factor in. I'm not sure how much data is available on that or how much weight to ascribe to it. But for that matter, same could be applied to the rest of the car too. Doesn't BMW tout the i3 as being sustainably sourced including as much of the car as possible? And regardless of the carbon footprint of the factory, there are the social costs of the source materials for the batteries from third world countries, child labor, etc. that do make analysis based on battery size, regardless of carbon footprint of the battery factory, very relevant in an overall social justice perspective, of which being green is a prominent but not the sole driver. Of course, the OP article and my assessment above are driven on greenness as I would assume all battery sourcing has the same child labor social justice burden absent any info to the contrary. But that burden makes it prudent to use the batteries we get as efficiently as possible, and for that, battery size comparisons and resulting reduction in gas consumption is likely the best corollary we are going to get.

And if Tesla is particularly green in their battery sourcing, then think how much more fleet-wide impact they could have if they would allocate some of their batteries and get 3-4x the cars out to more people at affordable price points? Again, the battery size analysis is very worthwhile.
'13 Leaf SL
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SageBrush
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Re: GCC: LowCVP LCA study finds matching battery size with vehicle use is crucial for the environment

Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:20 pm

What good are small batteries that consumers do not want ?
Look at the sales stats in the USA: People overwhelmingly want Tesla, and a big part of that is larger batteries.

Second, Tesla is supply constrained due to production bottle-necks, not due to raw material limits. I don't think they could make many more cars than they do presently even if the battery size was halved.

Lastly, while it is certainly true that raw material mining and transport are dirty and in some cases miserable activities, each generation of recycled battery using sustainable methods halves their impact.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
3/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

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