Browse Publications Technical Papers 2007-01-1607
2007-04-16

Original Method for Car Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and its Aplication to LADA Cars 2007-01-1607

To carry out a full and detailed analysis of total life cycle (TLC) for cars is very difficult and time-consuming. It is extremely complicated to organize detailed data collection and perform inventory analysis of all stages of car life cycle [1,2,3]. It is also very difficult to transform various factors of environmental impact into quantity of damage done to mankind and environment [4,5]. However, necessity to carry out LCA of cars appears already at the design stage in order to make the most effective and environment-oriented decisions. It is important for a car manufacturer to compare a new model being developed with cars in production as well as similar cars being produced by other manufacturers [6]. That is why LCA methodology should be simple enough and convenient for practical application so that it will not consume much time and many resources. In our view those recommendations on simplified LCA as well as methods and procedures used in the world at present do not allow to make calculations efficiently for the whole car and compare a great number of different cars. Having analyzed the most essential aspects of the problem we arrived at the following conclusions that helped us to develop an original LCA method.
  • To implement LCA for a car we can take into account only three main stages: production, use and recovery.
  • It is more convenient to make calculations of environmental impact for each stage of car life cycle based on different methodologies appropriate for each given stage. The result is numerical values of the impact at each stage expressed in ecological points.
  • The stages of car life cycle contribute unequally into the total indicator of environmental impact. Consequently, weight factors for each stage should be used to correlate the total indicator.
In our LCA method we calculated eco-points for the production stage on basis of Eco-indicator'99 [5], eco-points for the use stage - on basis of our own method and eco-points for the recovery stage - on basis of ISO-22628 [7]. Weight factors of each stage were taken as follows: production 14%, use 82%, recovery 4%.
The method was used to make calculations for LCA of all LADA cars, comparative analysis of the results and comparative assessment for each stage of car life cycle. The analysis has shown that improvement of car technical and ecological parameters (first of all, reduction of noise, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and meeting stricter EURO 4/5 requirements on exhaust toxic emissions) results in lessening negative environmental impact at the use stage and in the future will require recalculation of the contribution coefficients for each stage of the car life cycle.

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