Life Cycle Engineering Modelling Framework for batteries powering electric aircrafts : the contribution of eVTOLs towards a more sustainable urban mobility
Procedia CIRP 105 : 368-373 (2022)
Contribution to Conference
The aviation industry is increasingly facing the challenge posed by climate change. Alongside the aviation sector, advances in aircraft design and electric propulsion towards sustainability have also emerged in new segments of transportation, the urban air mobility, which has arisen to address the road traffic congestion challenges particularly faced in megacities. Within this new mode of mobility, electric vertical takeoff and landing aircrafts (eVTOLs) have gained interest as a solution for on-demand services, including passenger, cargo transportation, as well as rescue and air ambulances. In this regard, batteries are seen as one of the essential technologies towards decarbonizing the mobility sector. Even though studies have indicated the potential of eVTOLs to enable longer travel distances with significant time savings in comparison with battery electric vehicles (BEVs), the variability in terms of spatial, temporal and technological aspects needs to be addressed in order to assess in how far battery-powered eVTOLs will in fact contribute to a more sustainable urban mobility. Based on a modelling framework of the Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) of future aircraft technologies, this paper investigates the factors contributing to the variability of the environmental assessment results, revealing the inherent complexities of modelling emerging technologies. By simulating different scenarios for the battery operation in eVTOLs and BEVs around the world, a case study demostrates the applicability of the LCE framework in urban and regional application contexts.
Life Cycle Engineering