Volume 38: Energy Transitions toward Carbon Neutrality: Part I

The Lifetime Carbon Footprint of Lithium-Ion Battery Systems in Exemplary Applications Anupam Parlikar, Nils Collath, Benedikt Tepe, Holger Hesse, Andreas Jossen



Energy storage plays a crucial role in the energy transition. Lithium-ion cell technology is the leading energy storage technology today across both the major pillars of the energy sector: mobility and electricity. Lithium-ion batteries are deployed in electric vehicles spanning all segments, and in stationary battery energy storage systems to provide a variety of both grid-connected and off-grid services. While there are no direct emissions due to the use of this technology, the carbon footprint of a Lithium-ion battery comprises of indirect emissions in its production, its operation, and recycling phases. Repurposing of decommissioned automotive batteries in ‘second-life’ stationary applications is a widely discussed concept to meaningfully extend the battery lifecycle before recycling. In this work, the lifecycle carbon footprint of Lithium-ion batteries operating in three overarching pathways is quantified simulatively with open-source python-based energy system and battery system simulation programs. These pathways are – i) automotive application (A), ii) stationary application (S), and iii) automotive application followed by a second-life stationary application (AS). From the dual perspective of decarbonization and resource efficiency, it is essential to identify the most effective lifecycle pathways for battery system applications. The metric ‘Levelized Emissions of Energy Supply’, LEES, is used to compare the scenarios. It is found that under the considered assumptions and simulation conditions, the S pathway performs the best, followed by the cascaded AS pathway. The automotive pathway A has the highest LEES value.

Keywords Battery Electric Vehicle, Second-Life Battery System, Battery Energy Storage System, Electric Vehicle Battery, Levelized Emissions of Energy Supply (LEES), Carbon Footprint

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