Natural resource use of gasoline, hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles considering land disturbances

Shoki Kosai, Kenyu Matsui, Kazuyo Matsubae, Eiji Yamasue, Tetsuya Nagasaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Automobile companies have attempted to achieve a transition of vehicle types from internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) to new-generation vehicles (NGVs). Many studies have addressed the resource-related issues of vehicles. Despite the significant attention to the potential impacts of resource use in the LCIA narrative, the volume of natural resource exploitation has yet to be fully investigated. In this study, the concept of total material requirement (TMR), which is an indicator for assessing the scale of land disturbance caused by mining activities, was employed to evaluate the natural resource use for gasoline vehicles (GVs), electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Using this approach, the lifecycle TMR of automobiles at the production, operation and maintenance stages was assessed. It was found that NGV production uses more than twice the resources required for GV production. In particular, the production of the traction Li-ion battery accounts for approximately half of the total resource exploitation in the case of EV production due to the use of Cu, and nearly 40% of resource exploitation in the case of FCV production is attributed to the production of fuel cells due to the use of Pt. The inverse trend between lifecycle TMR and CO2, which was observed for each type of vehicle, implies that recent transportation policies, with their focus on environmental implications of emissions, have overlooked the hidden factors associated with resource exploitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105256
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume166
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar

Keywords

  • Automotive industry
  • Inventory data
  • Land use
  • Mineral resource
  • Technological shift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics

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