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Clean vehicle research: LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) and policy measures (CLEVER) (PHASE II)

Research project SD/TM/04B (Research action SD)

Persons :

  • Dhr.  VAN MIERLO Joeri - Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2009-31/5/2011
  • M.  DE CAEVEL Bernard - Recherche, Développement & Consulting - Bruxelles (RDCENV)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2009-31/5/2011
  • Prof. dr.  HECQ Walter - Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2009-31/5/2011
  • Dr.  GOVAERTS Leen - Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2009-31/5/2011
  • Mevr.  MACHARIS Cathy - Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2009-31/5/2011

Description :


The finite nature of the oil supplies on the one hand and the increasing consciousness about the impact of vehicles on the air quality and greenhouse effect on the other hand, require drastic changes of the current vehicle fleet. The ever more stringent emission standards for vehicles force the automotive industry to reduce the environmental impact of conventional diesel and petrol vehicles by using new technologies (soot filters, improved engines, catalysts, etc.). Besides these improved conventional vehicles, vehicles with alternative fuels (LPG, CNG, alcohols, bio-fuels, biogas and hydrogen) and/or drive trains (battery, hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles) form an attractive solution to establish a more environmentally friendly Belgian car park.

Project description


The CLEVER project serves the following objectives:
1) To create an objective image of the environmental impact of vehicles with conventional and alternative fuels and/or drive trains;
2) To investigate which price instruments and other policy measures are possible to realize a sustainable vehicle choice;
3) To examine the external costs and to verify which barriers exist for the introduction of clean vehicle technologies on the Belgian market;
4) To analyse the global environmental performances of the Belgian car fleet;
5) To formulate recommendations for the Belgian government to stimulate the purchase and use of clean vehicles.


The approach consists of the following steps:
- A literature study will be performed to obtain an overview of the existing and future vehicle technologies and environmental vehicle assessments (T1.1 and 1.2), policy measures (T1.3) and consumer behaviour for the purchase of cars.
- A Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of conventional and alternative vehicles will be carried out, in which not only the well-to-wheel emissions (like in the Ecoscore methodology), but the complete cradle-to-grave emissions will be taken into account (T2).
- A Life Cycle Cost (LCC) analysis will be performed, which will investigate the impact of the proposed fiscal measures (see T5). Price elasticities will be implemented in a consumer behavioural model and a car purchase and usage model will be developed (T3).
- The different barriers for the introduction of new vehicle technologies in Belgium will be identified. The different tasks will also be supported by input from the most recent external cost factors (T4).
- Potential policy measures for a more sustainable car choice of individuals, companies and governments will be investigated (T5).
- VITO’s road emission model will be adjusted with the Ecoscore model and will be used to assess the global environmental performance of the whole Belgian vehicle fleet (T6). According to different scenario’s, predictions will be made about the evolution of the performance for the mid term (2015) and the long term timeframe (2030).
- An overall assessment will be carried out on the basis of the results of the LCA, LCC, social barriers and fleet analysis. The integration of the results will be done by a multi criteria analysis. Recommendations for stimulating the purchase and use of clean vehicles will be formulated (T7).

T1: State of the Art (Technology, Environmental impact, Policy measures, consumer behaviour)
T2: Life Cycle Environmental Assessment (Ecoscore)
T3: Life Cycle Cost Assessment, Price Elasticity, car purchase and usage model
T4: Social barriers and external costs
T5: Policy Measures Stake holder Assessment
T6: Belgian Fleet Analysis
T7: Overall Assessment and recommandations
T8: Dissemination and report
T9: Coordination

Interaction between the different partners

Each of the 5 partners within the CLEVER project will perform a number of specific tasks, in which an intensive collaboration with the other partners will be essential. The tasks are divided as follows:
- VUB-ETEC coordinates the project and will mainly focus on the performance of the LCA (T2), but also on T1.1, T1.2 and T7.
- VITO will mainly concentrate on the policy measures and fleet analysis (T1.3, T5 en T6).
- VUB-MOSI will take care of tasks T1.4, T3 en T7.
- ULB-CEESE is in charge of task T4.
- RDC Environment will be responsible for the performance of the LCA in T2, together with ETEC.

Expected results and/or products

- reports on the literature studies (vehicle technologies, environmental vehicle assessments, policy measures, consumer behaviour)
- reports on the different steps in the performance of the LCA (software selection, defining LCA objectives and functional unit, classification and characterisation, normalisation and weighting and LCA results)
- report on the LCC method and model, state-of-the-art research of price elasticities
- report on external costs and social barriers
- report on the sensibility analysis, the scientific validation of the Ecoscore approach and the optimal time of replacement
- report on the feasibility study on the utility of the methodology for other transport modes
- purchase and usage model: report and model
- report on the policy measures, the stakeholder support for the proposed policy measures and the scenario development
- report on the environmental performance of the Belgian vehicle fleet and the impact of the scenarios
- multi criteria analysis: method, analysis and results
- executive summary and overall recommendations
- every six months an intermediate report describing the progress of the project and the obtained results will be drawn up
- after the first and second phase of the project, a final report will be made containing all the results of respectively the first two years and the full four years

Every six months workshops and meetings will be organised for the user committee to disseminate the intermediate results and to validate the methodology and used data. Also meetings will be organised with stakeholders (consumer organisations, companies and governments) and with other projects.
The dissemination of the results of the project will involve a website, a project leaflet, publications in national and international journals, participation in symposia, etc.



• environmentally friendly vehicle technologies, mainly battery, hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles and components such as electric drives and batteries
• traffic and emission models and Ecoscore

• energy use and environmental impact on vehicle level
• market introduction of new vehicle technologies and alternative motor fuels
• evaluation models for policies in relation to sustainable development

• evaluation methods in the human sciences, in particular for social and economical decision problems; focus on transport and logistics, sustainable mobility, multi criteria analysis and location analysis

• quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the interactions between the economy and the environment

RDC Environment
• studies in LCA, cost-benefit analysis, environmental impact assessment and strategic studies about the evaluation of technological projects

Contact Information


Joeri Van Mierlo
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Faculty of Engineering sciences
Department of Electrical Engineering and Energy Technology (ETEC)
Pleinlaan 2
B-1050 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 629 28 04
Fax: +32 (0)2 629 36 20


Leen Govaerts
Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO)
Expertisecentrum Energietechnologie (ETE)
Boeretang 200, B-2400 Mol
Tel: +32 (0)14 33 58 30
Fax: +32 (0)14 32 11 85

Cathy Macharis
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Faculty of Economic, Social and Political Sciences and Solvay Business School Department of Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Information Systems for Management (MOSI)
Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 629 22 86
Fax: +32 (0)2 629 21 86

Walter Hecq
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
Institut de Sociologie
Centre d’Etudes Economiques et Sociales de l’Environnement (CEESE)
Campus Solbosch, Av. Jeanne 44, CP 124, B-1050 Bruxelles
Tel: +32 (0)2 650 33 77
Fax: +32 (0)2 650 46 91

Bernard De Caevel
Recherce, Développement & Consulting – Bruxelles (RDC Environment)
Av. E. Plasky 157 (b.8), B-1030 Bruxelles
Tel: +32 (0)2 420 28 23
Fax: +32 (0)2 428 78 78

Follow-up committee

Johan Bogaert - Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Caroline De Geest - Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij
Vincent Declerck - Octa+
Michel Degaillier - SPF Santé publique, Sécurité de la Chaîne alimentaire et Environnement
Moniek Denhaen - Touring
Hugues Duchâteau - STRATEC sa
Pierre Duysinx - Université de Liège
Joeri Gerlo - Test Achat
Bruno Hoornaert - Bureau Fédéral du Plan
Marc Kwanten - SPF Mobilité et Transports
Pascal Lammar - Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Marteen Matienko - VAB
Pol Michiels - Fédération Belge de l’Automobile et du cycle (FEBIAC)
Jean-Louis Nizet - Fédération Pétrolière belge
Etienne Rigo - Octa+
Marianne Squilbin - Institut Bruxellois pour la Gestion de l'Environnement
Mieke Suykerbuyk - Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Pascal Théate - Ministère de la Région Wallonne
Karel van Coillie - Touring
Maja Van der Borst - VAB
Tania Van Mierlo - Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Marc Vandenborre - SPF Finances
Caroline Vermeulen - Vlaams Energieagentschap
Roger Verschueren - Touring
Hans Tindemans - Mobiliteitsraad van Vlaanderen

Documentation :

Clean Vehicle Research: LCA And Policy Measures : final report + annexes  Van Mierlo, Joeri - Govaerts, Leen - Macharis, Cathy ... et al  Brussels : Federal Science Policy, 2010 (SP2265)
[To download]  [To order

Clean Vehicle Research: LCA And Policy Measures (CLEVER) : summary of results    Brussels : Belgian Science Policy, 2011 (SP2276)
[To download

Recherche sur des Véhicules Propres : LCA (Analyse de Cycle de Vie) et Mesures Politiques (CLEVER) : résumé des résultats    Bruxelles : Politique scientifique fédérale, 2011 (SP2277)
[To download

Onderzoek naar milieuvriendelijke voertuigen: LCA (LevensCyclus Analyse) en beleidsmaatregelen (CLEVER) : samenvatting van de resultaten    Brussel : Federaal wetenschapsbeleid, 2011 (SP2278)
[To download

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