The environmental impact of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) largely depends on the environmental profile of the national electric power grid that enables their operation. The purpose of this study is to analyze the environmental performance of BEV usage in Korea considering the changes and trajectory of the national power roadmap. We examined the environmental performance using a weighted environmental index, considering eight impact categories. The results showed that the weighted environmental impact of Korea's national power grid supply would increase overall by 66% from 2015 to 2029 using the plan laid out by the 7th Power Roadmap, and by only 33% from 2017 to 2031 using the 8th Power Roadmap plan. This change reflects the substantial amount of renewables in the more recent power mix plan. In 2016, BEV usage in Korea resulted in emissions reductions of about 37% compared with diesel passenger vehicles, and 41% compared with gasoline vehicles per kilometer driven (100 g CO2e/km versus 158 g and 170 g CO2e/km, respectively) related to transportation sector. By 2030, BEV usage in Korea is expected to achieve a greater emissions reduction of about 53% compared with diesel vehicles and 56% compared with gasoline vehicles. However, trade-offs are also expected because of increased particulate matter (PM) pollution, which we anticipate to increase by 84% compared with 2016 conditions. Despite these projected increases in PM emissions, increased BEV usage in Korea is expected to result in important global and local benefits through reductions of climate-changing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (Ministry of Science and ICT) (No. NRF-2017R1E1A1A01078227).
© 2019 by the authors.
- Battery electric vehicle
- Environmental impact
- Life cycle assessment (LCA)
- Power mix
- Power roadmap