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You are here: EPA Home » DfE » Partnership for "Application of Life-Cycle Assessment to Nanoscale Technology: Lithium-ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles" - About this Project

Partnership for "Application of Life-Cycle Assessment to Nanoscale Technology: Lithium-ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles" - About this Project

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Lithium-ion Batteries and Nanotechnology Partnership - Logo

DfE and the National Risk Management Research Laboratory in EPA's Office of Research and Development formed the Lithium-ion Batteries and Nanotechnology for Electric Vehicles Partnership to conduct a screening-level life-cycle assessment (LCA) of current and emerging energy systems used in plug-in hybrid electric and electric vehicles. The primary goal of the partnership was to help companies make environmentally sound process and material choices, as the technology evolves and the market share for electric vehicles expands.

The project focused on the following battery types and product systems:

  • Lithium-manganese oxide-type chemistry for electric vehicle and plug-in electric vehicles;
  • Lithium-iron-phosphate batteries for electric vehicle and plug-in electric vehicles;
  • Lithium-nickel-cobalt-manganese-oxide (Li-NCM) for electric vehicles; and
  • Single-walled carbon nanotube anode technology for use in next-generation Li-ion batteries

Using an LCA approach, the study generated data to help manufacturers, users, suppliers, and recyclers of Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles incorporate environmental considerations into their decision-making processes and improve the environmental profile of their products. An LCA examines all of the steps involved in manufacturing, using, and disposing (including reuse and recycling) of a product or material, and estimates environmental impacts from each of the following stages:

  • Raw materials extraction/acquisition;
  • Materials processing;
  • Product manufacture;
  • Product use; and
  • Final disposition/end-of-life
Final LCA Report

April 29, 2013 - The final report for the life-cycle assessment (LCA) of current and emerging energy systems used in plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles conducted by the DfE/ORD Li-ion Batteries and Nanotechnology Partnership is now available. The LCA results will help to promote the responsible development of these emerging energy systems, including nanotechnology innovations in advanced batteries, leading to reduced overall environmental impacts and the reduced use and release of more toxic materials.

Did you know...?

The research organization IDTechEX, Cambridge, MA, estimated in 2012 that hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and electric vehicle (EV) sales will represent 35 percent of global car sales by 2025. Lithium-ion batteries will be critical to improving the marketability of these electric vehicles, due to their large energy storage capability in comparison to other types of batteries.

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