Environmental Impact of Public Charging Facilities for Electric Two-Wheelers

Joan Manuel F. Mendoza, Alejandro Josa, Joan Rieradevall, Xavier Gabarrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2016, Yale University. The environmental characterization of the charging infrastructure required to operate electric vehicles (EVs) is usually overlooked in the literature. Only rudimentary life cycle inventories of EV charging facilities are available. This lack of information is especially noticeable in environmental studies of the environmental performance of electric two-wheelers (E2Ws), none of which have included an analysis of charging facilities, even though they constitute the most successful electric-drive market in the world. This article focuses on characterizing the life cycle of the global warming potential (GWP) and primary energy demand (PED) of two conventional charging facility designs that are widely implemented for charging E2Ws in public spaces. The relative environmental relevance of charging facilities per kilowatt-hour (kWh) supplied to E2Ws is determined by considering a range of use scenarios (variability in the service ratio) and the effect of upgrading the electricity mix to include more renewable energy sources. Savings of over 3 metric tons (tonnes) of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions and 56 equivalent gigajoules can be achieved by implementing an optimized charging facility design. The internalization of the relative environmental burden from the charging facility per kWh supplied to E2Ws can increase the GWP of E2Ws' use phase from 1% to 20% and the PED from 1% to 13%. Although the article focuses on one particular case scenario, the research is intended to provide complementary criteria for further research on the life cycle management of electric mobility systems. Thus, a series of factors that can influence the environmental performance of EV charging networks at the macro scale are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-66
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • Charging infrastructure
  • Electric vehicles
  • Electricity mix
  • Global warming potential
  • Industrial ecology
  • Life cycle assessment

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