Cradle to Grave Comparison Between Battery Powered Electric Vehicles and Internal Combustion-Engine Vehicles 12 scale logistics operations over the distances covered by couriers and hauliers. Even with consideration given to stop/ start dispatch operations, the problems of paying off the CO² debt remain. Heavy Goods Vehicle performance is measured by the economic costs of transporting payloads over a specified distance. This is why dieselpowered HGVs dominate the sector, with high payloads and high fuel efficiency. Batterypowered electric vehicles are unlikely to be able to compete in the medium-term, because of the weight and size of the battery – there would be virtually no power or space left to transport a payload, so cancelling out any saving of CO ² output. The same applies to agriculture, public transport, the military, engineering and construction, commercial aviation, industry and shipping. Despite various attempts at providing battery-powered public transport in the USA and Germany – many of which have been discontinued – serious battery limitations mean that purely electric vehicles above a certain size are unlikely to be viable any time soon. Alternatives to Battery-Powered Electric Vehicles We have already seen that internal combustionpowered vehicles require fewer resources and have a lower carbon impact to build. So on a cradle-to-grave basis, they are far more sustainable to build and are the most environmentally considerate during their extended lifetime on the road. There are already clean, viable and readily-available alternatives to the imposition of expensive battery-powered EVs. Internal combustion-powered vehicles are manufactured within a closed loop lifecycle management approach - CL2M. Almost the entire vehicle can be endlessly recycled, and the materials can be used repeatedly for any number of manufacturing cycles that would prove impossible to reflect in a vehicle’s lifecycle cost. Battery-powered electric vehicles cannot be recycled to the same extent, even though according to the Argonne National Laboratory (the US Department of Energy’s Science and Engineering Research Centre): “A shredded electric vehicle battery can yield recyclable metals, but it is cheaper for battery-makers and vehicle manufacturers to use new materials.” As a consequence batteries have frequently been deposited in landfill. Battery-powered EVs are not sufficiently developed to be marketed on environmental grounds. And mandating the recycling of batteries in the same way that the recycling of ICE vehicles are required, would place the costs of batterypowered EVs even further beyond the reach of the general public. Recycling batteries is a hazardous undertaking according to materials scientist, Dana Thompson of the University of Leicester, who is on record as saying that current electric vehicle batteries “are really not designed to be recycled”³2. The process of dismantling a battery of the size used in EVs can lead to short-circuits that cause the battery to burn uncontrollably releasing toxic fumes, such as hydrogen fluoride, phosphoryl fluoride, and methane and propane which have explosive potential. There is a significant quantity of energy stored in a battery of the size used in cars which has to be released in a very controlled way when being used. If one cell within the battery is damaged, the energy dispersal can, in some situations, take weeks to erupt into an uncontrollable fire. Such fires cannot be extinguished and are a serious threat to life and property in enclosed spaces such as tunnels, multi-storey car parks and garages. If this happened in a traffic queue, it is possible that a fire could spread to adjacent vehicles and property. That sudden discharge of energy spreads to the other cells in a thermal runaway where the battery enters an uncontrolled, cascading loop of violent chemical reactions that releases a tremendous amount of energy, very quickly. The battery does not need any other fuel, or oxygen, to burn.