The United States Automotive Materials Partnership Life Cycle Assessment Special Topics Group (USAMP/LCA) has conducted a Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) using a suitable set of metrics to benchmark the environmental (not cost) performance of a generic vehicle, namely, the 1995 Intrepid/Lumina/Taurus. This benchmark will serve as a basis of comparison for environmental performance estimates of new and future vehicles (e.g. PNGV).
The participants were Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, The Aluminum Association, The American Iron and Steel Institute, and the American Plastic Council.
The study was strictly a life cycle inventory. The approach was to quantify all suitable material and energy inputs and outputs, including air, water, and solid wastes. The inventory covered the entire life cycle; from raw material extraction from the earth, to material production, parts manufacture, vehicle assembly, use, maintenance, recovery/recycling, and disposal. For credibility purposes, the inventory was independently peer reviewed.
This paper presents an overview of the USCAR AMP LCI of a generic vehicle that took approximately five years from conception to the final report. This paper is one of six SAE publications discussing the results and execution of this project. Other papers in this series are SAE publication numbers 982161, 982162, 982168, 982169, 982170).