Renault Internal Review Proves EVs Are Cleaner Than ICE

Author:The Green Car Website     Source:The Green Car Website     Click:461     Publish time:2013/7/17 15:48:56

An internal review by Renault, comparing its combustion Fluence to its battery-powered Z.E version, shows that while the electric model has a much higher production environmental footprint, the car more than makes up for it over the course of its lifetime.

The internal review, prepared by Renault and recently released to the public, compares the full lifecycle assessments of ordinary diesel and petrol Fluences and its Fluence Z.E. While the diesel and petrol models showed the largest environmental impact during their use stage, the battery model’s impact came primarily from its production, particularly the manufacture of its lithium ion battery.

However as petrol and diesel car production is well developed, the carmaker estimates that the production impact of electric vehicles could easily be reduced, as the market develops.

To ensure fairness in its report, Renault’s report was independently vetted, as it assessed the three models over a typical 10-year, 93,000-mile lifetime, with the electric car assessed using current grid configurations in countries including the UK and France.

Originally published in 2011, as the carmaker embarked on its Z.E programme- the launch of four electric models-the study served to inform the firm of exactly what it could expect from its new battery powered models.

The full report details the impact of each of the three drivetrains in six key categories; global warming potential, depletion of resources, sources of energy, photochemical ozone production, acidification and eutrophication.

The electric car model’s only negative area its acidification which depends on two factors: electricity production and drivetrain battery production. Where electricity comes mainly from renewables or nuclear, acidification decreases and can reach just 52kgSO2. Using the car in countries such as France and Switzerland, the electricity use yields lower levels of acidification.  Acidification for battery comes from mainly from the use of key materials like Cobalt or Nickel, however new replacements for these rare earth minerals are being developed and future EVs may be able to do without them.


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