The growing demand for electric vehicles entails an increased consumption of critical energetic and non-energetic abiotic resources, necessary for an optimal performance of the vehicle. The depletion of these resources and the future availability to meet their demand appears to be a potential limitation for the expansion of the electrified vehicle industry. The goal of this study is to perform a detailed life cycle analysis, including manufacturing, use and disposal, of key components of EV powertrains, identifying materials and processes responsible for abiotic depletion impact. This study also investigates the sensitivity of the results to the choice of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) impact methods. For this, a LCA is performed on an integrated electric drive, by considering seven impact methods. Results show that energetic resources consumption generate the largest impact, followed by metals and lastly by mineral resources. The consumption of electricity in each life cycle is a crucial factor in the generation of total impact. There are agreements among methods on the materials and processes contributing the most to depletion, given the differences in approach used by each impact method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
StatePublished - 1 May 2017

    Research areas

  • Abiotic resources, Depletion, E-motor, EV, Inverter, LCA, Powertrain

ID: 30365585