Whole life carbon emissions are used to compare the environmental performance of different types of vehicle. Calculating the total carbon footprint of a vehicle is a hugely complex task and one for which no standardised process exists. From extracting raw materials, to manufacturing components and sub-assemblies, to assembling the vehicle and moving all of these elements between production sites; every stage in the process requires energy. Support functions create their own carbon footprint too, and all this needs to be considered and allocated to the vehicles produced. Similarly, calculating the carbon footprint of the energy used is dramatically impacted by the real-world operating efficiency and the method of fuel extraction and power generation.

Research by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership has concluded that although electric and hybrid vehicles typically create more carbon emissions during their production than those with internal combustion engines, they are still greener overall. The study found that some of the CO2 savings made during the use of low carbon vehicles is offset by increased emissions created during their production, and to a lesser extent disposal. It also highlighted that some regulations designed to improve recyclability and safety or reduce air-pollution can adversely affect production emissions for new vehicles.

As a result of the intensive duty-cycle of a purpose-built taxi, covering high mileages over a long working life, the production carbon emissions of TX are likely to represent a lesser proportion of the whole life figure when compared to a typical passenger car. What’s more, poor air quality has a significant and direct impact on our health - so the improvement in local air quality made possible by the transition to zero emissions capable vehicles bring huge benefits to everyone living and working in our cities.

As you might expect from the makers of next-generation electric vehicles, LEVC’s head office and factory in Ansty, near Coventry, has also been designed to be environmentally friendly. Roof and ground water is filtered, stored and used for activities such as the monsoon water-tests that every taxi undertakes during end-of-line quality checks, as well as for other every day water usage such as flushing toilets. It’s then purified along with all the water used on site and fed to a network of naturalised ponds that are home to, among others, the endangered great crested newt.

The roof of the facility houses an array of photo-voltaic solar panels, harnessing the sun’s energy and sending this power back into the National Grid.

These are just two of the design features that helped Ansty to achieve an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).

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