LowCVP calls for closer integration of life cycle assessment to inform technology choices
A new work programme builds evidence for Road to Zero progress.
As electric vehicles start to become mainstream and the contribution of renewable energy to the electricity grid grows, by 2030 over 70% of CO2 emissions from typical new road vehicles could arise during the production – rather than use – phase of the life cycle of a typical vehicle.
Consequently, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) called for the development and introduction of a life cycle CO2 metric to better inform policy and presented proposals for its wider implementation at the two-day Cenex-LCV2019 Event at Millbrook this week.
The LowCVP is a collaboration between over 200 organisations representing government, industry and the widest range of stakeholders which is working to accelerate the transition to low carbon, low emission road transport across all sectors.
Create evidence base
Life cycle assessment is at the foundation of the LowCVP’s 2019-20 work programme which aims to create the building blocks and evidence base across all road transport areas to enable the largest, most rapid reductions in total greenhouse gas emissions from transport.
LowCVP’s Head of Projects, Gloria Esposito presented the LowCVP’s work on life cycle assessment at the Millbrook event.
She called for a full review and update of existing automotive life cycle emissions inventories, for low carbon vehicle policy to take account of these metrics and for automotive sector guidelines to be based upon them while ensuring consistency and comparability of data.
Gloria Esposito said: “Life Cycle thinking must become mainstream in policy considerations in the UK – and elsewhere – as the impacts of road vehicles during the production (and to a lesser extent, disposal) phases of the vehicle life cycle become much more prominent.
“A stronger evidence base needs to be developed and used to embed life cycle thinking into the UK’s supply chains, in policy and regulatory discussions and in the EU’s considerations around future car CO2 regulation.”
Are we energy ready?
Among other highlights of this year’s work programme, the Partnership will be concluding the work of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce (EVET), set up at the request of Government to help ensure the UK’s energy system is ready and able to facilitate the mass take up of EVs.
EVET is due to present recommendations in a report to be published this autumn.
The Partnership will also be working on projects to stimulate the uptake of high blend renewable fuels – including the production of a Renewable Fuels Guide - and helping further with preparations for the introduction of E10 (a 10% ethanol blend in petrol).
The LowCVP’s life cycle work shows that, properly verified and regulated, low carbon fuels can make a significant, near-term contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Building on the leading UK work around the carbon assessment of biofuels, the Partnership will be further developing carbon and sustainability criteria proposals for low carbon transport fuels and other bioenergy sectors.
Other key areas in the LowCVP’s new work programme include:
- Identifying the barriers and opportunities for electrification of depot-based fleets
- Setting the standards for Ultra Low Emission Trucks to enable the creation of a policy framework to support their accelerated introduction
- Working with stakeholders in the rapidly expanding Ultra Low Emission Bus (ULEB) market to further develop product and promote its uptake
- Several work-streams will help ensure there is informed demand for low carbon/emission vehicles, through consumer information, labelling and other mechanisms. There will be a particular focus on supporting the finance and leasing sector in accelerating the ULEV transition.
Andy Eastlake, LowCVP’s Managing Director, adds: “Even with 16 years of experience accelerating the market for low carbon vehicles and fuels it still feels as exciting and challenging as ever. We often talk about ‘tipping points’ but on a number of fronts it does feel like now might be the time.”
“Organisations interested in any elements of our work programme and in working with stakeholders and other policy makers in the low carbon transition should consider joining the Partnership.
At Cenex the LowCVP again collaborated with six other agencies in the government-associated 'innovation support ecosystem'.
The 'UK Government Pavilion' at the event is been established to help visitors understand what support is available to them in terms of the drive for innovation on the Road to Zero.
LowCVP partnered with the Advanced Propulsion Centre, the Automotive Council, Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles, Department for International Trade, Innovate UK and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles on the Pavilion.
The centre of the Pavilion was be devoted to a ‘Future of Technology Zone’ where some of the exciting opportunities and big challenges for the automotive industry were discussed.
The LowCVP (www.lowcvp.org.uk), established in 2003, is a public-private partnership that exists to accelerate a sustainable shift to lower carbon vehicles and fuels and create opportunities for UK businesses.
Nearly 200 organisations are engaged from diverse backgrounds, including automotive and fuel supply chains, government, vehicle users, academics, environment groups and others.
- The full LowCVP work programme is on the LowCVP website at www.lowcvp.org.uk/projects