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Life-cycle assessment of the environmental impact of the batteries used in pure electric passenger cars

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Wenxian YangORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


The use of electric vehicles is for reducing carbon emissions, thereby reducing environmental pollution caused by transportation. However, the large-scale production and application of electric vehicle batteries have brought another notable issue, i.e., the production and application of these batteries also cause environmental pollution. Particularly, the precious metal materials used in the batteries are harmful to human health and the surrounding ecological system. Nowadays, many types of batteries are available. It is essential to understand which of them is most suitable for electric vehicles from the perspective of environmental protection. To answer this question, the life cycle environmental impactassessment of LiFePO4 battery and Li(NiCoMn)O2 battery, which are being popularly used in pure electric passenger vehicles, are conducted in this paper. The research has shown that the two types of batteries show different environmental impact features in different phases. For example, LiFePO4 batteries are more environmentally friendly in the phase of production, while Li(NiCoMn)O2 batteries are more eco-friendly in the application and transportation phases. Despite this, LiFePO4 batteries are generally more environmentally friendly than Li(NiCoMn)O2 batteries from the perspective of the entire life cycle. In addition, the research results also suggest that due to the heavier mass, LiFePO4 batteries can probably gain more benefit when used for energy storage.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shu X, Guo Y, Yang W, Wei K, Zhu G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Energy Reports

Year: 2021

Volume: 7

Pages: 2302-2315

Print publication date: 01/11/2021

Online publication date: 26/04/2021

Acceptance date: 19/04/2021

Date deposited: 27/04/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2352-4847

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.egyr.2021.04.038


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