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UK LowCVP calls for closer integration of life-cycle assessment to inform technology choices in automotive sector

As electric vehicles start to become mainstream and the contribution of renewable energy to the electricity grid grows, by 2030 more than 70% of CO2 emissions from typical new road vehicles could arise during the production—rather than use—phase of the life cycle of a typical vehicle.

Consequently, the UK’s Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) is calling for the development and introduction of a life-cycle CO2 metric to better inform policy.

The LowCVP is a collaboration between more than 200 organizations representing government, industry and the widest range of stakeholders which is working to accelerate the transition to low-carbon, low-emission road transport across all sectors.

Life-cycle assessment is at the foundation of the LowCVP’s 2019-20 work program which aims to create the building blocks and evidence base across all road transport areas to enable the largest, most rapid reductions in total greenhouse gas emissions from transport.

At the two-day Cenex-LCV2019 Event in Millbrook, LowCVP’s Head of Projects, Gloria Esposito is calling for a full review and update of existing automotive life-cycle emissions inventories; for low;carbon vehicle policy to take account of these metrics; and for automotive sector guidelines to be based upon them while ensuring consistency and comparability of data.

Life-Cycle thinking must become mainstream in policy considerations in the UK—and elsewhere—as the impacts of road vehicles during the production (and to a lesser extent, disposal) phases of the vehicle life cycle become much more prominent.

A stronger evidence base needs to be developed and used to embed life-cycle thinking into the UK’s supply chains, in policy and regulatory discussions and in the EU’s considerations around future car CO2 regulation.

—Gloria Esposito



Great article, Ms. Esposito, and we heartily agree with you. LCA is a well-established methodology now with plenty of strong databases from which to choose. Now the work just needs to be done to support consistency, as you say.


Seems to me the first hurdle is to stop burning hydrocarbons in the air. Then you can stop subsidizing oil companies and shut down the gross polluting pipe lines, oil tankers and refineries. The key to a better, cleaner World is replacing fossil fuel with electrons for energy in all sectors, including air, sea and land transportation, and power production. Working on the entire life cycle of energy related products is secondary until we stop the gross polluting.


The grand EV "vision" will not happen over night.

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