Toyota Chief Scientist Pratt makes the case for hybrids and plug-ins

In a post published on Medium, Gill Pratt, Toyota Motor Corporation’s Chief Scientist and the CEO of Toyota Research Institute, explains why he is not a proponent of ditching ICE and switching to only BEVs as soon as possible. He argues that a diversity of electrified drivetrain types are better... Read more →


The ICCT has conducted a comprehensive global and temporal life-cycle assessment of GHG emissions from a variety of alternative passenger car powertrains and fuels. The results show there is no realistic pathway to full decarbonization of internal combustion engine vehicles, and that only battery and hydrogen fuel-cell EVs have potential... Read more →


Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have conducted life cycle analyses (LCAs) for battery-grade lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) and lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LiOH•H2O) produced from Chilean brines (Salar de Atacama) and Australian spodumene ores. An open-access paper on the study is published in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling. The team also... Read more →


Origin Materials launched its Net Zero Automotive Program with Ford Motor Company. The Net Zero Automotive Program is a sustainable automotive supply chain initiative focused on industrializing new materials to drive decarbonization in the automotive industry. Origin Materials has developed technology which turns sustainable wood residues into cost-advantaged, carbon-negative materials... Read more →


Audi funding expansion of renewable energy to increase the number of charging stations in Europe that use green power

Electric cars do not emit carbon on the road, but the generation of electricity also produces carbon emissions—far more when the power is generated from fossil fuels than from renewable energy sources. Audi is thus partnering with energy providers to support the expansion of renewable energy sources in Europe. The... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) has published a Beyond Tailpipe Emissions Calculator that provides estimates of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with driving an electric vehicle (EV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), including emissions from the production of electricity used to power the vehicle. The consumer chooses... Read more →


If a ban were introduced on the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars, and they were replaced by electric cars, the result would be a significant reduction in lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions primarily due to reduced tailpipe CO2 emissions, according to a new lifecycle study by researchers at Chalmers... Read more →


A new lifecycle analysis by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory has found that the carbon intensity of corn ethanol has decreased 23%—from 58 to 45 gCO2e/MJ—from 2005 to 2019. Their open-access paper is published in the journal Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. Carbon intensity (gCO2e/MJ undenatured ethanol) of corn ethanol without... Read more →


SQM, a Chilean company that is one of the world’s biggest producers of lithium, and Argonne National Laboratory are collaborating to study SQM’s process for producing lithium with an eye toward better understanding sustainability challenges associated with lithium products. Chile has long been a leading producer of lithium, which has... Read more →


NASEM announces provisional committee for new study on life cycle analyses of low-carbon fuels

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM’s) Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (BEST) announced the provisional committee for a new consensus study, Current Methods for Life Cycle Analyses of Low Carbon Transportation Fuels in the United States. Low carbon fuel standards, such as the Federal Renewable Fuel... Read more →


Aemetis, Inc. has selected Axens Vegan Renewable Hydroprocessing technology for its “Carbon Zero 1” production plant in Riverbank, California. Axens Vegan technology is designed to hydrotreat a wide range of lipids and to produce a flexible slate of low-density and high cetane renewable diesel as well as renewable jet fuel.... Read more →


A recent update by The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) now includes carinata as a renewable fuel feedstock for hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with a similar greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint as waste and residuals, such as used cooking oil, for the same fuel type.... Read more →


Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the University of Dayton, Yale University, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) from food waste–derived volatile fatty acids (VFA) by targeting normal paraffins for a near-term path to market and branched isoparaffins to increase... Read more →


High-blend renewable fuels could cut extra 46m tonnes GHG emissions from truck operations in UK by 2030

A new study by Zemo Partnership (formerly LowCVP) shows that with a market average of 30% high blend renewable fuels (HBRF), used in place of fossil fuels (diesel and natural gas) by 2030, the transport sector could save an additional 46m tonnes in GHG emissions over the next decade, with... Read more →


by Mike Millikin A team at Argonne National Laboratory’s Systems Assessment Center has evaluated the well-to-wheel (WTW) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of Fischer–Tropsch (FT) fuels produced via various electrolytic H2 pathways and CO2 sources; using various process designs (i.e., with and without H2 recycle); and two different system boundaries: a... Read more →


House Biofuels Caucus introduces two bills to grow biofuels markets

The co-chairs of the US House Biofuels Caucus introduced two new pieces of legislation to increase access to biofuels and to recognize fully their environmental benefits. Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) and Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13) led introduction of the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Investment and Market Expansion Act, which would expand... Read more →


National Academies to conduct study on methods of LCA of low-carbon transportation fuels

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is forming a committee that will conduct a study on the current methods for life cycle analyses (LCA) of low-carbon transportation fuels in the United States. Low carbon fuel standards, such as the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard and the California Low Carbon... Read more →


Rio Tinto, Paul Wurth and SHS-Stahl-Holding-Saar partner on low-carbon iron feedstock for steel; HBI from green hydrogen

Rio Tinto, Paul Wurth S.A. and SHS-Stahl-Holding-Saar GmbH & Co. KGaA (SHS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the viability of transforming iron ore pellets into low-carbon hot briquetted iron (HBI) (a form of Direct Reduced Iron, DRI), a steel feedstock (earlier post) using green hydrogen generated from... Read more →


The BMW Group will begin sourcing aluminum produced using solar electricity with immediate effect. This marks an important milestone on the road to the company’s goal of lowering CO2 emissions in its supplier network by 20% by 2030. Producing aluminum is extremely energy-intensive. Generating the electricity needed to produce primary... Read more →


A new study by a team from Environmental Health & Engineering (EH&E) has found that greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol are 46% lower than those from gasoline—a decrease in emissions from the estimated 39% done by previous modeling. The report, led by David MacIntosh, Chief Science Officer of Environmental... Read more →


With demand expected to rise significantly in the coming decade on the back of electric vehicle sales and energy storage systems implementation, an increase in lithium production is inevitable. Roskill’s CO2 output and water consumption intensity analysis, detailed in the soon to be published Lithium Sustainability Monitor, provides an in-depth... Read more →


At the BMW Group plant in Leipzig, the 200,000th BMW i3 model rolled off the production line last week. The BMW i3s (combined power consumption: 14.6 – 14.0 kWh/100 km) with Fluid Black metallic paint finish and accents in BMW i Blue was produced for a customer from Saxony and... Read more →


Argonne National Laboratory’s Systems Assessment Center has released the 2020 version of the suite of GREET models and associated documentation. The GREET (Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation) tool provides a common, transparent platform for lifecycle analysis (LCA) of of the energy and environmental effects of a... Read more →


Audi Hungaria, in cooperation with E.ON Hungaria, officially started operation of Europe’s biggest photovoltaic roof installation. Since the start of the year, the site in Győr has used only green power. In 2012 Audi’s Hungarian plant opened a geothermal facility to supply most of its heat requirements. The remainder is... Read more →


Dachser is now making all its deliveries to the heart of the southwest Germany city Freiburg emission-free, using a combination of Fuso eCanters, StreetScooters, and cargo bikes. Taking transportation as a whole, this new service reduces CO2 emissions per shipment by 26%. In the city center of Freiburg, Germany, Dachser... Read more →


With demand for lithium set to increase over the next decade, Roskill has calculated, using its in-house analysis, that CO2 emissions from lithium production are set to triple by 2025 versus current levels and to grow by a factor of six by 2030, with the vast majority of this coming... Read more →


BASF SE is investing €16 million into Pyrum Innovations AG, a technology company specialized in the pyrolysis of waste tires, headquartered in Dillingen/Saar, Germany. With the investment, BASF will support the expansion of Pyrum’s pyrolysis plant in Dillingen and the further roll out of the technology. Pyrum is currently running... Read more →


BASF now has the worldwide distribution rights for RheoFalt smart additives to modify asphalt and bitumen manufactured by the Netherlands-based company Ventraco. Excluded from the agreement are Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands, where Ventraco will continue to supply the products. RheoFalt HP-AM, a powerful rejuvenator, enables 100% recycling of old... Read more →


A new study by researchers at the University of Toronto has found that current US policies are insufficient to remain within a sectoral CO2 emission budget for light-duty vehicles that is consistent with preventing more than 2 °C global warming. Current policies will create a mitigation gap of up to 19 GtCO2... Read more →


Ricardo experts in sustainable transport, with colleagues from E4tech and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg (ifeu), have produced a comprehensive lifecycle assessment (LCA) of road vehicles on behalf of the European Commission. With the shift to new fuels and powertrain electrification it is important to use life-cycle... Read more →


Study finds advanced cellulosic biofuels show real promise for replacing some fossil fuels

A new study led by Colorado State University predicts significant climate benefits stemming from the use of advanced biofuel technologies. Accounting for all of the carbon flows in biofuel systems and comparing them to those in grasslands and forests, the team found that there are clear strategies for biofuels to... Read more →


The BMW Group is making sustainability and resource efficiency central to the company’s strategic direction. Chairman of the Board of Management Oliver Zipse announced initial details of this strategic direction in Munich on Monday and presented the targets the company has set itself for the phase up to 2030. The... Read more →


Pursuant to section 95489(c)(3)(B) of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Regulation, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Officer has posted the final 2017 Crude Average Carbon Intensity calculation: 12.52 CI (gCO2e/MJ). The 2019 CI is up from 2018 (12.35) and from 2017 (11.93); volume delivered to California refineries... Read more →


Cranfield: switching from aluminum to zinc alloys could greatly improve longevity and sustainability of automotive parts

A new study by researchers at Cranfield University in the UK finds that switching from aluminum to zinc alloys in the production of automotive parts could greatly enhance their longevity and sustainability. The study, conducted by Cranfield’s Sustainable Manufacturing Systems Center, evaluated the performance of three different alloys (aluminum-A380, magnesium-AZ91D... Read more →


The construction sector accounts for a quarter of CO2 emissions, in Sweden and globally. Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg studied the construction of an 8km stretch of road in detail and calculated how much emissions can be reduced now and until 2045, looking at... Read more →


Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute have developed a web tool called the Carculator that can be used to compare the environmental performance of passenger cars in detail. The program determines the environmental balance of vehicles with different size classes and powertrains, and presents the results in comparative graphics. The... Read more →


FCA says that its latest Global Warming Potential (GWP) analysis found that the redesigned-for-2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has an overall GWP 15% lower than that of its predecessor. The GWP improvement was calculated using industry-standard software that examines multiple factors associated with a vehicle’s design, production and on-road performance. These... Read more →


Canada-based DeepGreen Metals Inc., a company focused on sourcing metals with the least environmental and societal impact, has released the results of a year-long study it commissioned into the impacts of sourcing metals to produce battery cathodes and wiring for electric vehicles (EVs). Demand for certain EV battery metals is... Read more →


UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) are conducting a stakeholder-led research initiative focused on identifying strategies to improve sustainability and governance across the EV battery supply chain. Diagram of the EV battery supply chain from “Building... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Officer has certified the 2020 annual update to the carbon intensities (CI) of the lookup table pathways for a) California Average Grid Electricity Used as a Transportation Fuel in California and b) Electricity Supplied under the Smart Charging or Smart Electrolysis Provision. The... Read more →


The results of a new analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) show that, when combined with a trend toward higher methane leakage and combustion slip, there is no climate benefit from using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel—regardless of the engine technology. LNG is becoming... Read more →


Study finds climate impact of hydropower varies widely

Although hydropower is broadly considered to be much more environmentally friendly than electricity generated from fossil fuels (e.g., earlier post), a new study by a team at Environmental Defense Fund finds that the climate impact of hydropower facilities varies widely throughout the world and over time, with some facilities emitting... Read more →


The lifecycle CO2 balance of the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4MATIC is as low as 17.1 tonnes of CO2 when the electricity is produced by hydropower; 16.4 tonnes of that is from the production of the vehicle itself. On the average EU electricity mix, the lifecycle CO2 balance almost doubles to... Read more →


Stanford study finds current carbon capture technology inefficient & increases air pollution

A study by Mark Z. Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, suggests that carbon capture technologies are inefficient and increase air pollution. His open-access paper is published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science. All sorts of scenarios have been developed under the assumption that carbon... Read more →


A team from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Idaho National Laboratory has evaluated the process economics and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the conversion of 11 biomass feedstocks to produce transportation fuels via fast pyrolysis and then pyrolysis oil upgrading via hydrodeoxygenation. An open-access paper on their work appears... Read more →


Audi has set the goal of successively reducing vehicle-specific CO2 emissions by 30% by 2025 compared with reference year 2015 and over the entire product lifecycle. In the long term, Audi is pursuing the vision of CO2-neutral mobility and aims to be climate-neutral throughout the company on balance by 2050.... Read more →


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... Read more →


Researchers at MIT and the Ford Motor Company have found that depending on the location, lightweight conventional vehicles could have a lower lifecycle greenhouse gas impact than electric vehicles, at least in the near term. Their paper is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Assessments of GHG... Read more →


A new study from North Carolina State University finds that while shared e-scooters may be greener than most cars, they can be less green than several other options, including, in some cases, buses. Their open-access paper is published in the journal E.nvironmental Research Letters Using life cycle assessment, the researchers... Read more →


A life-cycle assessment of emissions from domestic and imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), and heavy-fuel oil (HFO) for marine shipping by a team from the University of British Columbia has found that only high-pressure dual-fuel (HPDF) engines robustly reduce well-to-wake GHG emissions by 10% compared with their HFO-fueled counterparts. Low... Read more →