FURI | Spring 2020

Is the Demand for Tesla Worth It? Investigating the Life Cycle Assessment and Long-Term Effects of Upstream Emissions from Battery Electric Vehicles

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Tesla’s CEO claims that their solar fueled fleet of battery electric vehicles (BEV) will guide the company to ‘carbon neutrality’. This research aims to determine whether Tesla is producing BEVs with more sustainable life cycles than internal combustion engine (ICE) and hybrid (HE) vehicles. A life cycle assessment (LCA) corresponding to the stages of Tesla’s supply chain will be conducted by mathematically modeling emissions data from the Argonne National Laboratory and the International Council on Clean Energy in MatLab and Vensim. Comparisons between this LCA and models for ICE and HEs will determine whether Tesla’s BEVs have a statistically significant decrease in upstream emissions.

Student researcher

Abigail Pezelj

Abigail Frances Pezelj

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Tempe, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2022