Publication Details

Title : Cradle-to-grave lifecycle analysis of U.S. light-duty vehicle-fuel pathways: a greenhouse gas emissions and economic assessment of current (2020) and future (2030-2035) technologies
Publication Date : June 01, 2022
Authors : J. Kelly, A. Elgowainy, R. Isaac, J. Ward, E. Islam, A. Rousseau, I. Sutherland, T. Wallington, M. Alexander, M. Muratori, M. Franklin, J. Adams, N. Rustagi
Abstract : This study provides a comprehensive life cycle analysis (LCA), or cradle-to-grave (C2G) analysis, of the cost and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of a variety of vehicle-fuel pathways, the levelized cost of driving (LCD) and cost of avoided GHG emissions. The C2G analysis assesses light duty midsize sedans and small sport utility vehicles (SUVs) across a variety of vehicle-fuel technology pathways, including conventional internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), flexible hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with varying vehicle ranges, and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

Coming at a timely manner, given the marked increase, since 2016, in climate aspirations announced by governmental institutions and private firms both in the US and across the globe, this analysis builds on a previous comprehensive life cycle analysis, updating that study’s 2016 assumptions and methods (Elgowainy et al. 2016). These updates incorporate technological advances and changes in energy supply sources that have emerged during the intervening period. Utilizing these updated assumptions and methods, alongside more recent data, the present report accounts for a broader range of vehicle technologies and considers both current (2020) and expected future (2030-2035) conditions. Reflecting increased research interest in synthetic liquid fuels produced using renewable low-carbon electricity and CO2 sources, electro-fuels (a.k.a. e-fuels) were added to the potential future fuel technologies that are evaluated.

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