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Vehicle life cycle CO2e analysis and policy integration


LowCVP has been at the forefront of exploring vehicle lifecycle CO2e emissions having commissioned 3 studies to strengthen understanding and considering different vehicle powertrains and segments and examining passenger car lifecycle CO2e emissions changes in the future. More recently a framework for interpreting automotive GHG emission-focused lifecycle studies and setting guidelines for input variables and key assumptions was developed.

Lifecycle CO2 emission assessment across vehicle segments and low carbon fuels

A simple in-house lifecycle GHG emission tool has been created to examine how these emissions can vary across vehicle segments and low carbon fuel use. This year LowCVP will examine how adjusting various assumptions in each stage of the vehicle lifecycle impacts total CO2e emissions for different vehicle segments and powertrains. Dissemination and discussion across WGs will take place to examine how lifecycle thinking is being considered across automotive sectors.

LCA Seminars - Integration of lifecycle considerations into automotive policy

Second, the project looks at how lifecycle considerations can be integrated in low carbon vehicle policy, particularly relevant to electric vehicles which are ‘zero’ CO2 emission at tailpipe. Lifecycle GHG emission measurement, and in some cases thresholds, already exists in UK and European bio-energy regulations , European environmental product information and labelling, and international environmental product certification schemes. The European Commission has said in 2025 further consideration will be given to integrating lifecycle CO2 emission metrics into future regulation. It is important the work should consider how to harmonise carbon and sustainability standards across climate change mitigation policy areas focused on reducing transport GHG emissions. The Partnership is well placed to contribute to future policy design.

LowCVP, in partnership with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), will hold two seminars to share insights and stimulate discussion on how LCA can be integrated into low carbon vehicle policy.

Discussions topics could include:

  • Automotive LCA studies in the UK and Europe

  • How can LCA policy be integrated in vehicle CO2 policy?

  • What sustainability issues to consider alongside lifecycle CO2e emissions metrics in policy?

  • How can the UK lead best practice internationally in automotive LCA?

  • What role can LowCVP play in influencing LCA policy development in the UK, Europe and potentially internationally?


  • Undertake lifecycle CO2 emissions scenario modelling across a multiple vehicle segments and present results at working meetings and stimulate discussion.

  • Organise 2 workshops to understand how to integrate lifecycle CO2e emission into policy with consideration of wider sustainability issues.

Project Management and Stakeholder Engagement

LowCVP Secretariat to lead with the engagement of members across FWG, PCWG, CVWG and BWG.

Collaboration partners for the seminar could include Ricardo, E4tech, Thinkstep, APC, World AutoSteel, JLR, BMW, Volvo, VW, Tesla, Warwick University and Dragon Initiative.

Timeline and Deliverables



LCA modelling results presented at working group meetings Download
LCA Policy Seminars November 2019 and March 2020 postponed to June 2020


Join Us

If you want to get more involved in our Life Cycle Assessment projects or more of LowCVP's Working Groups why not join us, or contact the Secretariat for more information.

Join Us

If you want to get involved in the work of one or more of LowCVP's Working Groups why not join us, or contact the Secretariat for more information

A member view...

The LowCVP’s strength lies in the breadth of its membership, wealth of information and a place to meet key industry contacts
Glenn Saint, Chief of Engineering and Manufacturing, Arrival