Life Cycle Assessment of an Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle using Renewable Electricity for Fuel and Vehicle Production
The transportation sector is still struggling with very high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. One option to significantly reduce the GHG emissions is the utilization of renewable fuels. In this paper, we analyze the GHG emissions, the fossil cumulative energy demand and the electricity demand of an internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV) using renewable fuels over the entire life cycle (vehicle production, utilization and disposal). We apply renewable electricity in the entire supply chain. This also includes the production of materials from hydrogen produced in an electrolysis. The hydrogen is for example used as reducing agent in steel production as well as converted with CO2 to chemicals and fuels. For this purpose, we conduct an LCA based on the database ecoinvent 3.7 and integrate renewable production processes. Our analysis over the entire life cycle shows that an ICEV can achieve almost zero GHG emissions and almost zero fossil resource consumption. However, the use of renewable electricity for almost all processes will significantly increase the electricity demand. The major share of renewable electricity is required for fuel production that is needed in the utilization phase of the ICEV.