Total effect on the environment of electric/hybrid electric vehicle batteries

O'Donnell, Clayton (2007) Total effect on the environment of electric/hybrid electric vehicle batteries. [USQ Project]


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[Abstract]: The depletion of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions are major issues facing the world today. Conventional vehicles, such as combustion driven buses and cars, are major contributors to these issues. Electric or hybrid electric vehicles (part combustion, part electrical) are being offered as an alternative for the future but one of the biggest challenges is the storage of energy in these vehicles. This study is to determine the
impact on the environment of the energy storage cells (batteries) used by these vehicles.

Even though the first electrical powered vehicle was built in the early 19th century, electric or hybrid electric vehicles have not made any real impact in the automotive
industry until recently. Several legislative and regulatory actions (involving emissions) in the United States and worldwide have renewed electric/hybrid electric vehicle development efforts. Electric conversions of gasoline powered vehicles as well as electric vehicles designed from the ground up are now available. Unfortunately, the development of batteries for energy storage has been less than desired. There has been some technological advances but have they come at a price to the environment?


1. Research various types of energy storage cells currently available
2. Collect data for energy storage cells (components, types of material, weight etc)
3. Use an appropriate (Life Cycle Assessment) software package to determine total effect on environment of each energy storage cell type
4. Compare energy storage cell types in terms of total effect on the environment

The Life Cycle Assessment software tool 'SimaPro' was used to determine and compare the impact on the environment of the batteries. Matlab was also used for evaluation.

This study has shown that the total effect on the environment of the batteries depend on their application (ie hybrid electric or electric) because these different applications have different requirements of energy etc which, in turn, requires different masses. Therefore, from an environmental and practical point of view, different battery types are better suited to each different application.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2008 05:58
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:58
Uncontrolled Keywords: environment; electrical powered vehicle; battery; batteries; hybrid; electric; vehicle; storage cell
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0902 Automotive Engineering > 090205 Hybrid Vehicles and Powertrains
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
09 Engineering > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090608 Renewable Power and Energy Systems Engineering (excl. Solar Cells)
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4002 Automotive engineering > 400205 Hybrid and electric vehicles and powertrains
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring
40 ENGINEERING > 4008 Electrical engineering > 400803 Electrical energy generation (incl. renewables, excl. photovoltaics)

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