American Chemical Society
es3c05957_si_008.xlsx (3.7 MB)

Assessing Short-Term Supply Disruption Impacts within Life Cycle Sustainability AssessmentA Case Study of Electric Vehicles

Download (3.7 MB)
posted on 2023-11-13, 19:08 authored by Marcus Berr, Roland Hischier, Patrick Wäger
In this article, the recently published SPOTTER approach, which allows for identifying potential supply disruption impacts along the entire supply chain within life cycle sustainability assessment in the short term (i.e., < 5 years), is applied to a case study addressing the cobalt and aluminum supply chains of electric vehicles (EVs) used in Switzerland. Existing studies within the field assessing supply disruption impacts for EVs and other technologies focus on impacts related to raw material supply and thus neglect impacts along full supply chains. The present study identifies hotspots and overall impacts along the full supply chains by analyzing six supply disruption events (i.e., geopolitical instability, child labor restrictions, trade barriers, price volatility, limited recyclability, and economic resource depletion) for two impact categories (i.e., cost variability and limited availability). Identified hotspots suggest that supply chains are potentially disrupted mainly through events occurring in Asian, African, or other developing countries and affecting the Western economies. The highest risks are indicated in relation to the supply of EVs, EV wiring, traction batteries, cobalt powder, and cobalt ore. Suitable measures to mitigate these supply risks are suggested showing that some of the suggestions could not have been made based on the results of existing studies.