Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Life cycle energy use and greenhouse gas emission of lightweight vehicle – a body-in-white design

Sun, Xin; Meng, Fanran; Liu, Jingru; McKechnie, Jon; Yang, Jianxin

Life cycle energy use and greenhouse gas emission of lightweight vehicle – a body-in-white design Thumbnail


Xin Sun

Fanran Meng

Jingru Liu

Professor of Engineering Sustainability

Jianxin Yang


A life cycle assessment (LCA) study is performed to compare the life cycle primary energy demand (PED) and global warming potential (GWP) of steel baseline automotive body-in-white (BIW) with three types of lightweight Scenarios. Scenario I, Scenario II, and Scenario III use advanced high strength steel (AHSS), aluminum alloy (Al alloy), and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), respectively. China Automotive Life Cycle Database (CALCD), onsite data of Chinese automotive industry in 2015–2017 and process models are used for inventory analysis in this study.

The results indicate, among the different lightweight Scenarios for the BIW, the Scenario II provides the lowest PED and GWP during a lifetime travelling distance of 200,000 km. Scenario I shows the best break-even distance. Scenario III presents lower PED and GWP relative to the base case; however, it does not reach a breakeven for GWP within the lifespan of 200,000 km.

Sensitivity analysis results depict that a combination of longer lifetime distance, larger fuel consumption and smaller substitution ratio is beneficial for lightweight BIW Scenarios, especially for Scenario III, to achieve the largest PED and GWP reduction compared to the baseline in the full life cycle.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 18, 2019
Online Publication Date Jan 22, 2019
Publication Date May 20, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 24, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 23, 2020
Journal Journal of Cleaner Production
Print ISSN 0959-6526
Electronic ISSN 1879-1786
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 220
Pages 1-8
Keywords Body-in-white (BIW); Life cycle assessment; Lightweight design; Primary energy demand (PED); Global warming potential (GWP)
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations