fuel cell stacks, power electronics, hydrogen fuel tanks, and other advanced vehicle components in order to gain an understanding of the potential environmental impacts of materials processing, supply chains, manufacture, and vehicle use and end of life. U.S. DRIVE should anticipate the potential risk and environmental externalities of battery production and end of life and should research methods to minimize these impacts.
The continued integration of life-cycle impacts and potential improvements into decision making and R&D portfolios would increase the likelihood that the U.S. DRIVE Partnership would achieve GHG goals as well as minimize environmental impacts. Life-cycle analyses are difficult to do comprehensively. They need to adhere to established life-cycle assessment research methods, include sensitivity analysis, be explicit about uncertainties, and be transparent so that all assumptions can be understood and refined.
Recommendation 2-11. The Executive Steering Group as well as the systems analysis teams of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership should identify pathways for fuel cell vehicles and electric vehicles to achieve large life-cycle GHG reductions and structure risk-weighted R&D portfolios to increase the likelihood of achieving these goals at competitive costs. U.S. DRIVE should also update and publicly publish comparisons of per-mile life-cycle GHG emissions across vehicle technologies regularly so that stakeholders can understand all assumptions made, be aware of systems impacts, and identify potential improvements.
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