"Is the automotive industry's transition to an 'all-electric' model the most effective way to decarbonise European transport?
ROLLE, Switzerland, Nov. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Garrett Motion Inc. (Nasdaq: GTX), a differentiated technology provider to the automotive industry, has published a white paper titled "Is the Automotive Industry Transitioning to 100% electric vehicles the most effective way to decarbonize European transport?" The study compares the CO2 emissions generated by battery electric vehicles versus hybrid vehicles throughout their life cycle, including the manufacturing and use of these vehicles.
The objective of this study is to evaluate the years of use necessary for a battery electric vehicle to offset the amount of CO2 generated during its life cycle (manufacturing and use) compared to different types of hybrid vehicles. Most emissions are released during the battery manufacturing process. The higher the battery capacity, the higher the CO2 emissions. In comparison, hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicles have lower capacity batteries. Therefore, the emissions related to their manufacture are lower than those of 100% electric BEVs.
"We are all pursuing the same goal of reducing total vehicle emissions to achieve net zero emissions. Electrification is essential to reduce CO2 emissions. But, as our study shows, for certain use cases some technologies can be less polluting than 100% electric vehicles. It is therefore crucial that consumers can choose the electrified solution that best suits their intended use. The 100% electric solution adopted only in Europe is by no means the best option to reduce CO2 emissions," said Olivier Rabiller, president and CEO of Garrett.
Garrett Motion's vehicle life cycle study captures real-world CO2 emissions data from the European automotive market, by vehicle type and use.
Garrett's analysis complements the findings of other LCA studies by evaluating factors including a wide range of electrified technologies (100 percent electric, mild hybrid, hybrid, plug-in hybrid), different vehicle segments (compact, SUV, sport utility vehicle, and light commercial vehicles), the actual average use of vehicles in Europe, as well as the intensity of electrical energy generation for battery production and charging.
Types of vehicle use (mileage) per year:
Garrett Motion's vehicle life cycle study shows that the actual use of a vehicle is a determining factor when calculating its environmental impact.
Throughout its life cycle (manufacturing and use), the use of a vehicle, regardless of its technology, is a determining factor when calculating its energy and environmental performance in the real world. Depending on use, hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric technologies can emit more or less CO2. Some examples:
Aligning the battery size of an electrified technology with intended daily use, versus occasional long trips, is ideal for avoiding excess battery capacity and unnecessary emissions. For typical daily vehicle use in Europe, hybrids with low-capacity batteries outperform BEVs with large batteries in terms of emissions minimization.
Therefore, most battery electric vehicles have no intrinsic advantage over other electrified technologies in terms of total CO2 emissions over their lifetime. Indeed, ongoing efforts to increase the range of BEVs without taking into account the CO2 generated during production and for their intended real-world uses may be counterproductive to emissions reduction goals.
Garrett's LCA study suggests that to meet the challenge of CO2 reduction as effectively as possible, battery electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles should be used together, in a complementary manner, to meet a wide variety of daily uses. The study therefore concludes that "100 percent BEV" mandates, such as the one to be implemented in Europe by 2035, are not an optimal solution to reducing the environmental impact of cars and commercial vehicles.
This study does not take into account key challenges beyond lifecycle CO2 emissions, such as the extraction of minerals needed to make batteries and the costs associated with vehicle electrification. Electrification costs represent a major barrier to widespread adoption and are primarily associated with battery size and materials required (e.g. copper, lithium). In particular, the cost reductions expected from mass production of batteries that generate economies of scale remain small, given the volatility of materials prices and inflation caused by growing demand.
Taking into account the contribution of batteries to the costs passed on to consumers, the above is further evidence of the importance of optimizing battery size for intended daily use, with hybrids and plug-in hybrids being cost-effective offerings in many cases. .
To read the white paper, visit Garrett Motion's Knowledge Center. To read the press release, featuring LCA methodology and insights, and to download an image, visit our Media Room.
About Garrett Motion Inc. - Garrett Motion is a differentiated technology leader serving automotive customers around the world for nearly 70 years. Known for its global leadership in turbocharging, the company develops transformative technologies to make vehicles cleaner and more efficient. Its advanced technologies help reduce emissions and achieve zero emissions across commercial and passenger vehicle applications, for on- and off-road use. Its portfolio includes turbochargers, electric turbos (E-Turbo) and electric compressors (E-Compressor) for ICE and hybrid engines. In the zero-emission vehicle category, the company offers fuel cell compressors for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEV), as well as electric propulsion and thermal management systems for battery electric vehicles (BEV). Garrett has five R&D centers, 13 manufacturing plants and a team of 9,300 people located in more than 20 countries. Its mission is to empower the transportation industry to further advance movement through unique and differentiated innovations. For more information, visit www.garrettmotion.com.
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