Universiteit Leiden

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Research project


The research aims at achieving a European consensus on a harmonized LCA approach/framework to be applied in E-mobility sector. The research will focus on needs and gaps in current LCA practices in E-mobility and try to provide solutions for them based on the rich knowledge and experience represented by the project participants. The consensus building includes a wide spectrum of stakeholders (e.g. research institutions, industry, policy makers, standardization bodies, etc.)

2023 - 2025
Hazem Eltohamy
Horizon Europe funding scheme with Grant Agreement No 101056715 Horizon Europe funding scheme with Grant Agreement No 101056715

Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V., Germany 
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Germany
Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, France
Comissariat a l'énargie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, France
Ecoinvent Association, France
Electricité de France, Switserland
Universiteit Gent, Belgium
Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands
Northvolt AB, Sweden
Renault, France
Ricardo-AEA Limited, United Kingdom
Rheinisch-Westfälisch Technische Hochschule Aachen, Germany
Scania, Sweden
Sphera, Germany
IVL Svenska Miljoeinstitutet AB, Sweden
Technische Universität Braunchweig, Germany
Umicore, Belgium
Universite de Bordeaux, France
Volkswagen AG, Germany
Valeo, France
STMicroelectronics SA, France


Short abstract

The road transport system in Europe is rapidly transforming in response to climate change and resulting demand for more sustainable value chains. E-mobility and road electrification are one of the most apparent manifestations of EU efforts to achieve that, nevertheless for the transition to be responsible and effective, a consensus over a sustainability evaluation tool must be achieved. In TranSensusLCA, a wide spectrum of influential European stakeholders in E-mobility sector have come together seeking such consensus. This spectrum ranges from academia and research, to industry which covers the entire value chains of Electric Vehicles (EVs).

A lot of LCA on EVs, ZEVs and batteries was researched in literature, however subjectivity when it comes to critical modelling choices like choosing functional unit or allocation method hampers the utilization of these studies in further decision making. Therefore, there is a dire need for a consensus on a single harmonized approach of applying LCA in E-mobility where all stakeholders can calculate, monitor, communicate, and make decisions starting from a common ground. The final harmonized approach is intended to be adopted by policy makers as well as standardization organizations which will eventually help create a momentum for a broader adoption over time.

Project description

1. Scientific relevance

Target Audience: General public

The electrification of road transportation is becoming one of the most important mitigation plans to face climate change. Current road transportation systems are one of the main drivers worldwide, therefore the European states represented by the European Commission are trying to push towards fundamental changes in transportation through promoting electric vehicles usage. Nevertheless, a robust framework to assess the sustainability of these strategic choices is of dire need. TranSensus is one of the latest initiatives by the European commission to harmonize the usage of LCA in Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) sector. We at Leiden try to deal with needs and gaps found in previous LCA work done in E-mobility field by providing science-based solutions for hot controversial topics that usually hinders the development of a single harmonized LCA approach in this field.

2. Material & Methods

Target audience: Peers

Life Cycle Assessment methodology is the base in TranSensusLCA. As the goal of the project is to reach a harmonized LCA approach for E-mobility in Europe, the project can be broken down in the following phases:

  1. Review of State of the art in the field including scientific literature, standards and guidelines, OEM product LCAs, policy documents, LCI databases and models.
  2. From the review, needs and gaps can be identified to  address them in the main work package of the project which is responsible for finding and harmonizing solutions
  3. All partners try to propose methodological solutions that cover the previously mentioned needs and gaps.
  4. Building consensus on the proposed solutions through feedback loops of different scales.
  5. The proposed harmonized framework proceeds to a testing phase where all the solutions are tested in a real case study.
  6. Finally, the last objective of the project is to translate the outcomes into official standards and guidelines for all stakeholders interested in conducting LCA in E-mobility field.

3. Results & Conclusions

No robust results are currently available as the project has just started.

4. Follow-up

The new framework should serve the default framework to conduct LCAs for ZEVs. International standardization bodies like ISO are also part of the project so efforts will be made to formalize the findings into standards for broader adoption inside the EU.

5. Why Leiden University?

Target audience: Journalists, Informed public

Leiden University has a very profound knowledge and expertise in environmental impact assessment tools and LCA is one of these tools. CML in Leiden University has long list of remarkable work on LCA (e.g. CML Life cycle impact assessment method, CML handbook for LCA for practical application)

6. Social relevance

The society plays a crucial role in the transition to a zero-emission road transportation. Hence, TranSensus also targets the social aspect of ZEVs industry by trying to harmonize the usage of social life cycle assessment (S-LCA) methodology within the sector.

A photo of TranSensusLCA kickoff meeting that took place in Brussels in February with all participants from different organizations (European commission, research institutes, industry, universities, advisory boards members)

Relations with other projects

TranSensusLCA has a twin project which is HIQLCA. The involved partners are almost the same however the objective is quite different; while TranSensus is concerned with methodological challenges in LCA for E-mobility, HIQLCA is concerned with data for LCA in E-mobility and potential improvements that can done to improve data quality for better LCA practice.

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