MO.2.B || Decarbonized Mobility Along the Value Chain

Schüler, Maximilian; Gernuks, Marko; Plaga, Benjamin; Hentschel, Jan

Since 2018 Volkswagen is committed to the Paris Climate Agreement and aims to be net carbon neutral by 2050. Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) have long been a part of Volkswagen’s environmental activities. With the shift towards battery electric vehicles (BEV), a holistic understanding of the drivers of environmental performance of vehicles is necessary to derive effective measures to reducing Volkswagens environmental footprint. We analyzed two cars in the compact class, Golf 8 (internal combustion engine vehicle with petrol or diesel, ICEV) and ID.3 (BEV) and two cars in the compact SUV class: Tiguan (ICE) and ID.4 (BEV). All vehicles have production, use and recycling in Europe. While overall greenhouse gas emissions are lower for the BEVs compared to the ICEV, emissions from the supply chain are significantly higher due to the NMC-622 batteries. The advantage of BEVs over ICEVs rises significantly when renewable electricity is used in the use phase as well as during the production of the battery cells and the cathode material as well as using secondary material in the battery supply chain. Further reduction measures such as secondary materials for steel, aluminum or the use of steel with hydrogen or aluminum from renewable electricity are measures equally suitable for all vehicles regardless of the powertrain. In conclusion, BEVs in Europe already today have a lower carbon footprint compared to ICEV. For BEVs. the use of renewable electricity along the entire life cycle is the biggest lever in reducing GHG emissions from passenger vehicles making the change towards an electrified portfolio the right path for decarbonization.