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Life Cycle Assessment Influences All Technical Fields Including Vehicle Body Sector


The amount of CO2 emissions from automobiles has long been talked about in terms of Tank to Wheel. All fuel efficiency regulations around the world are currently based on this concept. According to Tank to Wheel, CO2 emissions from BEVs are zero. However, in terms of Well to Wheel, which considers the origin of electricity stored in batteries, CO2 emissions from BEVs are greatly influenced by the energy mix of each country. Furthermore, BEVs are not necessarily eco-cars in terms of Life Cycle Assessment. This is because CO2 emissions which are generated at the time of battery production and disposal / recycling. In April 2019, the European Parliament announced “Regulation (EU) 2019/631 on setting CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and for new light commercial vehicles.” Under Article 7 “Monitoring and reporting of average emissions,” Section 10 defines the LCA for passenger cars as follows: “The Commission shall no later than 2023 evaluate the possibility of developing a common Union methodology for the assessment and the consistent data reporting of the full life-cycle CO2 emissions of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles that are placed on the Union market. The Commission shall transmit to the European Parliament and to the Council that evaluation, including, where appropriate, proposals for follow-up measures, such as legislative proposals.” This provision does not mean that LCA will be applied immediately to passenger cars, but it hints that the future European CO2 regulatory base may become LCA. In recent years, research and development of synthetic fuels (E-fuels) and advanced biofuels have become active in the powertrain field. LCA also affects technical fields in addition to the powertrain sector. One example is vehicle body production. The weight of the white body accounts for about 25% of the entire passenger car. If closures such as doors and fenders are included it exceeds 30%. If lightweight materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) are used, a certain improvement in fuel consumption can be expected. The combination of these lightweight materials has attracted attention as a multi-material body since the mid-2000s. Conventional steel sheet manufacturers have developed high-strength steel sheets to increase the strength and reduce the weight of steel sheets, while at the same time they stress the cost advantage over aluminum in order to counter the advancement of lightweight materials in the vehicle body sector. In addition, steel sheet manufacturers have been trying to appeal the superiority of steel sheet in LCA for years now continuing to sell to automobile manufacturers and lobbying policy makers. For example, WorldAutoSteel, which is comprised of major global steel producers from around the world, has consistently insisted that “steel is the best vehicle body material from an LCA perspective.” Aluminum can reduce the weight of the vehicle body, but requires a lot of power during production. In particular, small cars in the A / B segment have a greater CO2 burden during aluminum production than the CO2 reduction effect due to weight reduction. They emit more than 1% more CO2 in their entire life cycle if they are made of aluminum and not of steel.
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