Life Cycle Analysis

The Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of a battery is quite complex and hence the intention is to cover that in posts. First though we need to breakdown the stages:


Mining of the raw materials is extensive based on the materials used within a battery cell. However, we need to extend that to the complete battery pack.

Cell Manufacture

energy consumption Yuan et al

Energy Required to Make a Cell

The cell manufacturing process requires 50 to 180kWh/kWh.

Note: this number does not include the energy required to mine, refine or process the raw materials before they go into the cell manufacturing plant.

The global warming potential for two popular cell chemistries[2] and the main drivers for these values:

  • NMC811 = 76.7 kg CO₂ eq. per kWh
    • nickel sulfate production (cathode)
    • graphite production (anode)
    • energy for drying processes
  • LFP = 77.9 kg CO₂ eq. per kWh
    • lithium carbonate production (cathode active material manufacturing)
    • graphite production (anode)
    • energy for drying processes


  1. Phoebe Whattoff, Jordan Lindsay, Robert Pell, Carolina Paes, Alex Grant, Laurens Tijsseling, The Growing Importance of Life Cycle Impact Data in the Battery Material Supply Chain, Minviro Ltd 2021
  2. R. PELL and J. J. LINDSAY, Comparative Life Cycle Assessment Study of Solid State and Lithium-Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicle Application in Europe, Prepared for The European Federation for Transport and Environment 20th January 2022

Battery Value Chain

The battery value chain looks at the whole eco system from mining the raw materials through to recycling.

The value is perhaps normally thought of simply in terms of financial returns, but this eco system needs to look at many factors:

  • money
  • skills
  • trade
  • industrial base
  • environment