Life Cycle Assessment of a Gas-Electric Hybrid Waste Collection Vehicle – Comparison with Conventional Waste Collection Vehicles

University essay from Chalmers tekniska högskola/Institutionen för energi och miljö

Author: Anna Boss; [2005]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: The waste and recycling company Renova AB has developed a new type of wastecollection vehicle, which has been used and evaluated for waste collection in centralGothenburg for a few years. What distinguishes this type of vehicle from conventionalwaste collection vehicles is, firstly, that it uses natural gas to drive instead of diesel, andsecondly, that it turns the combustion engine off at the collection stops and uses electricpower to load and compact waste. In this master’s thesis the environmental performanceof such a gas-electric hybrid waste collection vehicle was evaluated in comparison witha conventional diesel vehicle and a natural gas vehicle without the hybrid technique.Life cycle assessment was used to consider environmental impact from production, use,maintenance and repair and end-of-life treatment of the vehicles.The results showed that the hybrid vehicles contribute less to some environmentalimpact categories, but more to others, compared to the other vehicle types. From anoverall evaluation of the results, it was concluded that hybrid vehicles areenvironmentally preferable to diesel vehicles when used in central Gothenburg. It ismore uncertain whether they are preferable to conventional gas vehicles or not. Theyhave, however, potentials for further development. It was also concluded that the usephase is the most important part of the life cycle to develop in order to improve theenvironmental performance of waste collection vehicles.