In all industries, it has become crucial to set carbon neutral targets established by the climate crisis in line with the 1.5°C. Therefore, automotive industry has been focusing on electrify all vehicles segments to provide solutions. However, production phase emissions increase significantly because of the critical materials in EV batteries. Accordingly, it has become essential to determine the emissions generated during the life cycle of the product. Hence, electric micro mobility solutions, whose carbon footprint is rarely mentioned in the literature, constitute the basis of this study. LCA approach can be used to assess a product's, process's, or service's environmental performance standardized with ISO14040/44. In this paper, a cradle to gate LCA study was implemented on the lithiumion battery of the micro mobility solution called Rakun, which is being manufactured by Ford Otosan. In the Goal and Scope definition phase, while determining the system boundaries, it was intended to address the deficiency of emission calculations for the batteries within the electrical micro mobilities in the literature. The following Life Cycle Inventory phase is concluded with data from the supplier and Ford Otosan factory. Eventually, the carbon footprint of the Rakun battery was calculated through Ecoinvent3.8 database within SimaPro and the results were evaluated from different perspectives. Since the batteries exist in many sizes and capacities, it is reasonable to examine the carbon footprint results per kg battery or kWh. Batteries contain carbon-intensive sub-components namely cathode and anode through rare elements in their content. On the other hand, production of the batteries, particularly cell production, is also carbon-intensive due to its complexity. Herein, when analyzing the results, it is crucial to focus on components and their impact on the total and to identify hotspots. Taking these into account, the carbon footprint of a Rakun’s battery is calculated as 42,76 kg CO2/kWh corresponding to 5,94 kg CO2/kg battery. Approximately 56% are due to cell production, with the cathode being the largest contributing part within the cell at 52%. Although there is limited number of studies in the field of electrical micro-mobility compared to electric vehicles, these results are in accordance with the benchmark study conducted in the literature. Several reasons, including methodological decisions and lack of primary data on battery production, make it difficult to apply LCA to batteries. Studies in the literature, system boundaries, functional units, primary data, life-cycle inventory, and impact categories are all used in wide variety. This makes it difficult to compare several solutions side by side. In addition to these, LCA studies for electrified micro mobility batteries are much rarer in the literature. For the reasons listed above, it isn’t reasonable to establish a standardized method for battery LCA. This paper extends boundaries of the literature by focusing on batteries and in particular on less-addressed electrical micro mobility solutions, which will provide solutions to many transportation problems. Observing the state-of-the-art of micro mobility 2-3 wheelers in terms of their environmental impacts and identifying hotspots, encourages development of guidelines that will respond to the design and concept level and will lead to more eco-friendly products. Besides, this paper is at a unique point in the literature with its data collection, compilation, and calculation methodology. Like all vehicle segments, micro mobility solutions, which are developing and growing in popularity, are moving towards electrification. In the automotive sector, the focus is on precious metals and batteries, which play a major role in the climate crisis. Great efforts have been made on both the secondary use of batteries and recycling technologies. Measuring the environmental impact of batteries to understand the state-of-the-art is the essential step towards these ambitions. This paper presents an awareness in terms of battery LCAs and sustainability of these micro mobility solutions. It also identifies hotspots among battery components and identifies carbon intensive parts.
Ms. Hatice Kübra GUNEY, Sustainable Product Development Engineer, Ford Otosan