Life cycle assessment of electrification of heavy-duty vehicle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


Heavy-duty vehicles significantly contribute to the total greenhouse gas emissions of the transportation sector. Electrification of heavy-duty drivetrains is one of the technological solutions to decarbonize. However, the total costs of electric and conventional heavy-duty vehicles remain a big hurdle. The European H2020 project ORCA, partnered with several research institutes, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and vehicle manufacturers, is addressing the cost issue by optimally downsizing the key components such as engine, battery, electric motor, etc and also by increasing the efficiency of the powertrain. The design optimization would render the electrified heavy-duty vehicle to become cost competitive to the conventional counterparts. This paper aims to study how this optimally downsized electrified heavy-duty vehicle performs environmentally from a life cycle perspective. Vehicles will operate in a dual mode which is conventional and hybrid mode outside of the described zero-emission zone and in battery mode inside the zero-emission zone. Therefore, in the operational stage, the emissions will come from both the tank-to-wheel part, the tailpipe emissions, as well as from the well-to-tank part, the electricity to charge the battery and the production of the diesel that is consumed. In the total lifecycle of the heavy-duty vehicle, the plug-in hybrid bus emits 13% less greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) compared to diesel bus when charged with the current EU electricity mix. Further reduction of lifetime GHG emission can be done if energy production is less carbon intensive.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication32nd Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS32)
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2021
EventEVS32: International electric vehicle symposium & exhibition - Lyon, Lyon, France
Duration: 19 May 201922 May 2019
Conference number: 32


Internet address


  • LCA
  • heavy-duty bus, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).


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