Application of Life-Cycle Assessment to Nanoscale Technology: Lithium-ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles

Demand for electric vehicles is increasing, and lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries with increased ranges will be critical to increasing electric vehicle marketability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While Li-ion batteries are expected to play a key role in the electric drive transportation industry, there are opportunities for improvements in the batteries‘ life-cycles that will reduce possible impacts to the environment and public health in a few specific areas, as their use increases. This study, carried out through a partnership led by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Li-ion battery industry, and academics, was the first life-cycle assessment (LCA) to bring together and use life-cycle inventory data directly provided by Li-ion battery suppliers, manufacturers, and recyclers. Its purpose was to identify the materials or processes within a Li-ion battery‘s life cycle (from materials extraction and processing, manufacturing, use, and end-of-life) that most contribute to impacts on public health and the environment. It also sought to evaluate the potential impacts of a nanotechnology innovation (i.e., a carbon nanotube anode) that could improve battery performance.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Environmental Protection Agency

    Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
    1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20460

    Environmental Protection Agency

    National Risk Management Research Laboratory, 26 West Martin Luther King Drive
    Cincinnati, OH  United States  45268

    Abt Associates, Incorporated

    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Amarakoon, Shanika
    • Smith, Jay
    • Segal, Brian
  • Publication Date: 2013-4-24


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 126p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01518988
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: EPA 744-R-12-001
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 21 2014 11:27AM