Total CO2-equivalent life-cycle emissions from commercially available passenger cars
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2022

The international passenger car market is undergoing a transition from vehicles with internal combustion engines to hybrid and fully electrified vehicles to reduce the climate impact of the transportation sector. To emphasize the importance of this needed change, this paper provides holistic comparisons of the total life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by a wide selection of commercially available passenger cars with different powertrains and energy sources. Simple analytical models are used to quantify the total life-cycle GHG emissions in terms of CO2-equivalent values relative to the vehicle curb weight and the peak motor power. The production, utilization and recycling emissions are separately quantified based on the latest reviewed emission coefficient values. In total 790 different vehicle variants are considered. The results show that Battery Electric Vehicles have the highest production emissions. For example, the additional production emissions of a Tesla Model 3 Standard Plus approximately correspond to the driving emissions of a Volkwagen Passat 2.0 TSI after 18 000km. Nonetheless, it is shown that conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles emit the highest amount of total life-cycle GHGs in comparison to vehicles powered by other available energy resources. When using green electricity, plug-in hybrid electric and fully electric vehicles can reduce the total life-cycle emission in comparison to combustion engine vehicles by 73% and 89%, respectively. A similar emission reduction is achieved by biogas powered vehicles (81%). Fuel cell vehicles approximately reduce the GHG emission to a similar extent as electric vehicles (charged with conventional electricity) when using commercially available gray hydrogen (60%).

Life-cycle CO emissions 2

Vehicle emissions


Transport fuel

Passenger car

Battery production


Johannes Buberger

Universität Der Bundeswehr München

Anton Kersten

Universität Der Bundeswehr München

Chalmers, Elektroteknik, Elkraftteknik

Manuel Kuder

Universität Der Bundeswehr München

Richard Eckerle

Universität Der Bundeswehr München

Thomas Weyh

Universität Der Bundeswehr München

Torbjörn Thiringer

Chalmers, Elektroteknik, Elkraftteknik

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

1364-0321 (ISSN) 18790690 (eISSN)

Vol. 159 112158


Annan naturresursteknik

Annan kemiteknik




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