Environmental impact EV vs ICE: Renault’s results

July 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

renault-fluenceRenault Fluence EV vs. ICE: the results. Renault has published its lifecycle assessments of the EV (70kW), petrol (1.6) and diesel (1.5 dCi) versions of its small saloon over 150,000km, looking at six indicators:  greenhouse gas emissions, acidification (including emissions of nitrous oxides), ozone creation potential, eutrophication potential (production of nitrogenous/phosphate compounds, which can lead to excess algae in water), abiotic depletion (of ores such as steel, aluminium, copper as well as non-renewable energy use) and energy consumption.

In line with earlier studies, it found that the ICE cars had most environmental impact in their use phase, but the EV in its production – and especially in the production of its lithium-ion battery pack (including the extraction of its raw materials and their transportation), and also if non-renewable electricity was used to power it. However – and here’s the payback – this was more than overcome by EV’s total lifetime benefits, EVEN if electricity from the current grid system/mix of renewables was used.

The petrol models scored well for acidification and euthrophication (being lower-NOx), the diesels for lower global warming potential (lower CO2 emissions) and abiotic depletion (lower reliance on fossil fuels). Accessible summary and handy graphics at Green Car Congress. Full report here; critical review of the report here.

  • The UK government is putting up £500million (to be matched by industry for a total £1billion investment) for a 10-year Advanced Propulsion Centre programme. The Centre is to help develop the technologies and supply chains to make the next generation of low-carbon cars in the UK, reports The Engineer. It’s part of the new industrial strategy which also supports engineering apprenticeships and a financing framework for the supply chain, and the focus will be on developing inventions/concepts into commercial prospects.
  • Holland’s hoping to have a  comprehensive national EV charging infrastructure, with a public fast-charger within 30 miles of every inhabitant: more at Green Car Reports.
  • Something for the office car park? German firm EIGHT has unveiled a cool-looking single-car solar fast-charger. More here.
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