The Role of Vehicle Life Cycle GHG Emissions in Meeting Net Zero

Background and Challenge

Life cycle analysis (LCA) provides a holistic perspective of the environmental impacts associated with the manufacture, use and disposal of a product. 

To date, Zemo Partnership has concentrated on raising the profile of the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions performance of a range of vehicle powertrain technologies and low carbon fuel supply chains.  With the rapid electrification of road transport over the next two decades and the corresponding reduction in vehicle ‘use phase’ GHG emissions that accompanies this, it’s increasingly important to consider the GHG emissions impacts beyond the vehicle tailpipe.

The aim of this project is to raise awareness of the importance of LCA and to advocate its integration into transport policy.


  • To determine vehicle life cycle GHG emissions across a mix of light and heavy-duty vehicle segments, vehicle powertrains and fuel/energy supply chains.
  • To explore how to optimise city and urban mobility to achieve maximum GHG emission reduction for a variety of scenarios, including vehicle electrification and use of sustainable, low carbon fuels.
  • To prepare a summary of Zemo LCA work to inform the integration of life cycle GHG metrics into the Government’s net zero transport policy development.
  • To promote the integration of LCA in the automotive manufacturing sector through collaboration with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and engagement with the Automotive Council.
  • To establish a standardised LCA framework for measuring and reporting life cycle GHG emissions.

Actions and Outputs

  • Undertake comparative studies across a variety of vehicle segments, powertrain technologies and fuel/energy supply chains using the Zemo in-house LCA model.
  • Deliver three webinars in collaboration with the APC to continue to raise LCA awareness.
  • Prepare a paper presenting the Zemo life cycle modelling work and providing perspectives on integrating LCA into net zero transport policy.
  • Present the Zemo LCA work to the Automotive Council.


June 2021 to February 2022

Gloria Esposito

Zemo Partnership Lead:
Gloria Esposito

Head of Sustainability

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