Multiregional Input-Output Life Cycle Analysis of a Battery Pack for Electric Vehicle Applications

Multiregional Input-Output Life Cycle Analysis of a Battery Pack for Electric Vehicle Applications

In the task of evaluating the improvement of road transport with electric vehicles (EVs), the battery pack plays an important role, as a key component in terms of overall cost and performance. Current production processes are characterized by international fragmentation; therefore, the characteristics and interconnections of the production chain globalization need to be considered, so the impacts in other parts of the world can be estimated. This study formulates an environmental and economic analysis along the life cycle of a battery pack for EV applications, with a Multiregional Input-output Life Cycle Analysis that considers the world trade supply chain mechanisms and provides a geographical resolution of the results. A process based Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is also carried out, using a detailed inventory of the life cycle of the battery pack. Results from both methodologies are compared for validation of the Multi-Regional Input-output LCA, and to explore the differences between the two methodologies from an empirical perspective. The comparison is carried out by analyzing, one by one, the calculated air emissions of different gases, along the entire life cycle of the assessed battery pack. Four innovative contributions are developed and implemented in this thesis: the most updated and detailed life cycle inventory of a battery pack designed for electric vehicles, a model to estimate the energy demand during the use stage of the battery pack in an electric vehicle, the most updated and detailed life cycle cost inventory of the battery pack and the final demand calculator for input-output analysis.

Promotor: prof. dr. Joeri Van Mierlo

Co-promotors: Dr. Maarten Messagie (VUB) and Dr. Cristina de la Rúa (CIEMAT)

Committee members: Prof. Hubert Rahier (VUB), Prof. Rik Pintelon (VUB),  Dr. Jean-Marc Timmermans (VUB), Dr. Fabrice Mathieux (European Commission Joint Research Centre, Italy), prof. Fausto Freire (University of Coimbra)