Scania publishes life cycle assessment of battery electric vehicles

In News, Scania2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 17, 2021

Scania has released a life cycle assessment of battery electric vehicles as the heavy commercial vehicle industry converts into a higher share of battery electric vehicles. 

Life Cycle Assessment is an ISO 14040/44 method to calculate the environmental impacts of products. Covering the entire life cycle the assessment starts at the extracting and refining of raw materials and ending at the recovery of the vehicles.

The LCA found the environmental impact of battery electric vehicles is significantly lower than that of a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. While the production of a battery electric vehicle entails a higher environmental impact, mainly due to energy intensive battery cell manufacturing, the total life cycle impact on climate change is dramatically better thanks to much lower carbon impact from the use phase. 

Andreas Follér, head of sustainability at Scania, said the industry must look at the impact on the environment of battery electric vehicles over their full life cycle.

“The impact generated is not from the tailpipe emissions, so the industry needs to rethink what we mean by environmental impact. With this study, we have the clear answers,” he said.

“The battery electric vehicle has the potential to have less climate impact than the one with an internal combustion engine already within one or two years of opeThis covers all investigated electricity mixes in the report.”

The battery cells stands for a bit over 40% of the carbon emissions coming from production of battery electric vehicles. There is however a big potential for improved emission levels from the production of battery electric vehicles as the battery industry continuously decarbonises and the use of green electricity continuously increases. 

“We expect that the total cost of operation for the majority of our customers will be positive for battery electric vehicles during this decade and half our volumes might well have an electric driveline by 2030,” said Follér.

“The race towards zero emissions will be about decarbonising the processes and materials needed to assemble the future truck and buses.”