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Application of Life Cycle Assessment to Lithium Ion Batteries in the Automotive Sector




This study is a critical review of the application of life cycle assessment (LCA) to lithium ion batteries in the automotive sector. The aim of this study is to identify the crucial points of the analysis and the results achieved until now in this field. In the first part of the study, a selection of papers is reviewed. In the second part of the study, a methodological approach to LCA is adopted to make clear the strengths and weaknesses of this analysis method. The lack of primary data is a crucial concern. Even if the cradle-to-grave approach is the most chosen system boundary, further scientific contribution to the life cycle inventory phase is necessary. It is likely that the more the electric vehicle becomes widespread, the more data will be accessible. Many authors have not specified the chemistry of the used batteries (5% of the studies), the software tool used (30%) or the functional unit used (17%) and, consequently, their obtained results can be questionable. However, even with the aforementioned limitations, the performed review allows us to point out the potential of electric vehicles and lithium ion batteries to reduce the overall contribution of the transportation sector to GHG emissions.

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