The environmental benefits and challenges of a composite car with structural battery materials
Other conference contribution, 2021

One way to reduce the environmental impact of an electric vehicle is to reduce the vehicle’s mass. This can be done by substitution of conventional materials such as steel, aluminium, and plastics with carbon fibre composites, or possibly even with structural battery composite materials. In the latter case, another consequence is that the size of the vehicle battery is reduced as the structural battery composite not only provides structural integrity, but also stores energy. This study assesses the change in life cycle environmental impacts related to transitioning from a conventional battery electric vehicle to a vehicle with components made from either carbon fibre composites or structural battery composites, with the aim of identifying environmental challenges and opportunities for cars with a high share of composite materials. Results show that a transition to carbon fibre composites and structural battery composite materials today would (in most cases) increase the total environmental impact due to the energy intensive materials production processes. The two major contributors to the environmental impacts for the structural battery composite materials are energy intensive structural battery material manufacturing process and carbon fibre production process, both of which can be expected to decrease their energy consumption as the technology maturity level increases and other production and manufacturing processes are developed. For future assessments, more effort needs to be put on collecting primary data for large-scale structural battery composites production and on assessing different technology development routes.

environment

fuel use

electrical vehicle

lightweighting

structural battery materials

life cycle assessment

composites

Author

Frida Hermansson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Ivan Berg

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Kevin sandberg

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Leif Asp

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Material and Computational Mechanics

Mathias Janssen

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Magdalena Svanström

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Resource Efficient Vehicles Conference
Online, Sweden,

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Other Environmental Engineering

Environmental Management

Composite Science and Engineering

Areas of Advance

Materials Science

More information

Latest update

7/1/2021 8