TRAN Study presentation : Resources, energy and lifecycle greenhouse gas emission aspects of electric vehicles

STUDY PRESENTATION: 15 May 2018, 10:30 am11:30 am
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The market of electric road vehicles is evolving fast. As 2018 gets under way, there are probably more than three million electric cars in circulation in the world. There are also more than six hundred million electric bikes, scooters and motorcycles. Plus a few hundred thousand electric buses and other types of quadricycles having an electric motor. However, the production of hundreds of millions of battery packs requires a lot of energy and plenty of scarce resources.

A presentation of the study “Resources, energy, and lifecycle greenhouse gas emission aspects of electric vehicles” was organised by the EP’s Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies on 15 May 2018 and focused the real impact of electric vehicles on the climate and the environment and how necessary it is to consider the recovery and recycling of used batteries.

Topics discussed included the production and recycling of lithium-ion traction batteries and lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of fully battery-powered electric vehicles, in particular material and energy use in battery production. The effects of the battery, vehicle size and the sources of charging electricity were discussed. Prospective developments in battery production and the power sector and their effect on lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions were also points raised.

The debate with MEPs that followed the expert’s presentation revolved around the concern of human rights issues with cobalt extraction in the Congo (mainly by children), the difficulties to obtain concrete information from the manufacturers on the real data involved in their battery production, and the climate change impacts of electric vehicles. A clear conclusion from this event is that “zero emission vehicles” do not exist.

Link to watch video of the event (with multilingual interpretation) – Study presentation starts at 10:23:05

Further reading: “Research for TRAN Committee : Battery-powered electric vehicles: market development and lifecycle emissions”

Presentation:

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