This research project examines sustainability aspects related to the production, use and disposal of electric vehicles. The focus is not on the reduction of emitted greenhouse gases, but on the consideration of the most diverse effects that emanate from the choice of a technology.
Electrically powered vehicles have come into general focus in recent years, as it is hoped that their use with regeneratively generated electricity will lead to environmentally friendly mobility. However, essential aspects are sometimes ignored in the process. One of these is the fact that the production of an electric vehicle requires more effort and also causes higher emissions than is the case with a combustion engine vehicle. On the other hand, special raw materials such as lithium, rare earth metals or cobalt are used in many components of the drive train, which raises the question of how sustainable the use of electrically powered vehicles actually is.
Within the framework of this research project, the various sustainability aspects that are dependent on the choice of technology and materials are therefore to be recorded and analysed. The analysis must be carried out from the perspective of a vehicle developer so that the knowledge gained can be used at an early stage of the development process.
The assessment of sustainability aspects is carried out with the help of several instruments. These include life cycle assessments (LCA), material flow analyses, considerations of economic efficiency, security of supply or the social impacts of raw material and technology choices.