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03-03-2021 | Carbon Dioxide (CO2) | News | Article

Volvo Publishes Life Cycle Assessment of the Electric XC40

Patrick Schäfer
1:30 min reading time

Following in Polestar’s footsteps, Volvo has now also prepared and published a life cycle assessment for an electric vehicle. The Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 AWD was compared with a model with an internal combustion engine.

Volvo is providing information on the exact carbon footprint of its first electric vehicle, the Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 AWD. The Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) was undertaken by a department of the company’s own research and development center, the Volvo Sustainability Center. “By dispelling myths and half-truths and publishing the actual facts transparently, we increase confidence in electric cars as well as their acceptance and spread,” says Thomas Bauch, CEO of Volvo Car Germany.

Every component and the materials used in the electric vehicle were examined in the LCA with a view to their environmental impact. This begins with the extraction of raw materials, continues through the logistics chain, production and assembly, and ends with the assumed use phase of 200,000 km and finally the recycling of the materials used.

The electricity used makes the difference

With an internal combustion engine, the Volvo XC40 produces almost 40 % fewer emissions in production than the electric variant. This is due to the lithium-ion battery and its cathode and anode materials as well as the aluminum housing. During use, however, the electric car can quickly catch up. Under ideal conditions, the XC40 Recharge already emits less CO2 than the gasoline engine version after a mileage of 47,000 km. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the charging current is drawn exclusively from renewable energies. At the end of the service life, more than half of the CO2 emissions (27 instead of 58 t) can be saved in this way. In the worst case, there is still a difference of 4 t.

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