Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-0595

A Life-Cycle-Based Environmental Evaluation: Materials in New Generation Vehicles 2000-01-0595

This project team conducted a life-cycle-based environmental evaluation of new, lightweight materials (e.g., titanium, magnesium) used in two concept 3XVs -- i.e., automobiles that are three times more fuel efficient than today's automobiles -- that are being designed and developed in support of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) program. The two concept vehicles studied were the DaimlerChrysler ESX2 and the Ford P2000. Data for this research were drawn from a wide range of sources, including: the two automobile manufacturers; automobile industry reports; government and proprietary databases; past life-cycle assessments; interviews with industry experts; and models.
The major findings of this materials research project were:
  • 3XVs are predicted to yield significant overall reductions in carbon monoxide and greenhouse gases, although emissions of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and two perfluorocarbons (CF4 and C2F6), gases with very high global warming potentials, will increase because of their current use in the production of magnesium and aluminum, respectively;
  • there will likely be increases in the emissions of NOx and particulate matter due to the use of diesel engines in the 3XVs; however, it appears that it will be feasible for the 3XVs to meet proposed regulations for these pollutants through the use of pre- and post-combustion technologies;
  • the lifetime energy consumption is reduced by over 50%, where the savings from fuel use easily overcome the increases noted in the extraction and materials processing life-cycle stage from the use of aluminum, magnesium, and titanium; and
  • lifetime solid waste generation may increase slightly due to increased quantities of solid wastes generated during the extraction and materials processing of aluminum, magnesium, and titanium;


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