Comparative Assessment of Materials Used in the Construction of Passenger Cars in Terms of Energy Demand and Harmful Emission
Purpose: The article refers to the current energy and ecological issues related to the life cycle assessment of vehicles. The main objective of the study was to compare the environmental impact of changes in passenger car design with the use of the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). LCA is now a widely used decision-making tool in the automotive industry to improve the energy and environmental performance of new cars. Design/Methodology/Approach: A simplified LCA method, which, in strictly defined cases, can be used to analyse the environmental impacts related to the manufacturing process of a passenger car, has been presented in the paper. Environmental inputs such as energy, required to provide materials and CO2 and SO2 emissions were used to evaluate the impact. The values of these variables were identified based on the material mass used to build the car. Findings: The environmental burdens resulting from the use of individual types of materials in the most important functional units of the car were compared. Both the energy inputs and the environmental burdens increased at the turn of the analysed periods. Practical implications: The results of the analysis allowed to identify the materials with the greatest environmental impact. Originality/value: A life cycle model of a passenger vehicle with a conventional drive that allows to determine its environmental burdens was created.