Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-01-0413
2003-03-03

Life-Cycle Value Assessment (LCVA) of Fuel Supply Options for Fuel Cell Vehicles 2003-01-0413

The fuel cell vehicle (FCV) has the potential to revolutionize the world's transportation systems. As choices are made on sources of fuel for FCVs it is important to consider the life-cycle implications of each option or system. This paper summarizes the methodology and results of a joint initiative to evaluate the life-cycle performance of 72 vehicle and fuel scenarios in 3 Canadian cities, comparing Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell vehicles and fuelling infrastructure with conventional and alternative fuel vehicles. The analysis is based on actual performance data of commercial and near-commercial technologies. The specific fuels investigated were gasoline, diesel, natural gas, methanol, hydrogen and electricity. The Pembina Institute's Life-Cycle Value Assessment (LCVA) methodology was used to compare the environmental, economic and social performance of each system. The stressor categories quantified include emissions of greenhouse gases and criteria air contaminants, resource consumption, fuel cost, and vehicle cost. A wide number of other stressor categories were identified as important to vehicle / fuel supply performance and should be considered when comparing systems. This paper details only the air emissions results from the full LCVA report1. The conclusions reached within the LCVA highlight that there are considerable differences in the life-cycle performance of vehicle systems and that fuel supply choices play a critical role.

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