Assessing the European Electric-Mobility Transition: Emissions from Electric Vehicle Manufacturing and Use in Relation to the EU Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets

Chen Tang*, Arnold Tukker, Benjamin Sprecher, José M. Mogollón

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The European Union (EU) has set a 37.5% GHG reduction target in 2030 for the mobility sector, relative to 1990 levels. This requires increasing the share of zero-emission passenger vehicles, mainly in the form of electric vehicles (EVs). This study calculates future GHG emissions related to passenger vehicle manufacturing and use based on stated policy goals of EU Member States for EV promotion. Under these policies, by 2040 the stock of EVs would be about 73 times larger than those of 2020, contributing to a cumulative in-use emission reduction of 2.0 gigatons CO2-eq. Nevertheless, this stated EV adoption will not be sufficiently fast to reach the EU's GHG reduction targets, and some of the GHG environmental burdens may be shifted to the EV battery manufacturing countries. To achieve the 2030 reduction targets, the EU as a whole needs to accelerate the phase-out of internal combustion engine vehicles and transit to e-mobility at the pace of the most ambitious Member States, such that EVs can comprise at least 55% of the EU passenger vehicle fleet in 2030. An accelerated decarbonization of the electricity system will become the most critical prerequisite for minimizing GHG emissions from both EV manufacturing and in-use stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • climate policy
  • European e-mobility transition
  • GHG emission accounting
  • lithium-ion battery
  • material flow analysis

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