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The Automotive Industry – Greener by the day, thanks to technology

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Posted May 14, 2019

If we take a look in the past, the automotive industry hasn’t always been the cleanest. It is responsible for many environmental problems that we all face today because it is one of the main sources of pollutant emissions and energy consumption. The attention given to the industry is totally understandable because it is a huge industry that is present in our daily lives.

Image credit: Pxhere, CC0 Public Domain

Image credit: Pxhere, CC0 Public Domain

In addition to pollution from vehicle use, the expansion of this industry has also led to the appearance of other concerns that affect our environment including traffic jams and road accidents.  Thus, the automotive industry had to either bow its head and admit its tremendous effect on our planet or come up with innovations that drive efficiency and sustainability.

Green business practices

Manufacturing technology in the car industry has started to face the challenge of moving towards renewable materials and the need to reuse and recycle the materials used for production.

Image credit: Olav Tvedt via Unsplash (Unsplash licence)

Image credit: Olav Tvedt via Unsplash (Unsplash licence)

Energy and water conservation, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and waste management including recycling are the main initiatives that the automotive industry is focusing on. in the last several years, car manufacturing has made a significant transition into green business practices by incorporating more recyclable materials, choosing fuel alternatives that reduce the fossil fuel intakes of companies, and car parts are made more reliable and eco-friendlier.

More and more car manufacturers are turning to recycled materials to build their new cars to reduce their impact on our environment. Materials including steel, plastic, aluminum, and even fabrics can be recycled, and reworked into new cars as well as old tires can be melted down and transformed into new ones.

Aluminum is the most used material because it is lightweight and malleable which means that it can be used to manufacture any car while reducing fuel intakes. Moreover, the material is also easily recyclable. However, due to safety concerns, cars cannot be completely comprised of aluminum but the auto industry is aiming to make cars a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation.

In addition, many car part companies have joined the green initiative to change the automotive industry into an eco-friendly one by producing car parts with eco-friendly, recyclable, and sustainable green materials.

Electric vehicles

Electric vehicles are one of the most innovative technological innovation that the automotive industry has taken in the last several years to reduce its impact on the environment. Their aim is to significantly reduce motoring costs and the amount of fossil fuel used in transport and the amount of CO2 emissions. Electric vehicles have appeared as a great solution for improving air quality and reducing the effects of global warming.

Image credit: Mark Cruz via Unsplash (Unsplash licence)

Image credit: Mark Cruz via Unsplash (Unsplash licence)

The total transition to an all-electric future requires a sizeable investment, the acceleration of vehicle charging infrastructure, and potential legislation for the installation of charge points in new homes. Although it seems like a far-away achievement, even impossible for skeptics this transition is gaining momentum as the adoption of electric vehicles is accelerating fast.

For example, well-known car manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo have announced that they will stop launching new models which are powered by internal combustion engines starting with 2020. Thus, Chris Riley, expert at AutoWise believes that the adoption of low emission vehicles seems to look like a far more achievable goal.

Emissions are one of the biggest problems that our environment is facing due to the automotive industry because of the vehicles that run on gas. As greenhouse gases produce tremendous effects to our planet, auto manufacturers are attempting to cut down on emissions with hybrid and electric cars.

A good example is the car manufacturer Ford which has introduced stop-start technology into their car models to cause the engine to stop when your car is at rest such as waiting at the red light. This innovative technology helps car owners to save gas and also cuts down on emissions.

Increased fuel efficiency

Increasing federal clean air regulations and restrictions have made many industries to switch to cleaner energy sources and the automotive industry makes no exception. The carbon monoxide and other waste products that make their way through the vehicle’s exhaust system is another huge problem of the automotive industry that affects our planet.

Image credit: Alessio Lin via Unsplash (Unsplash licence)

Image credit: Alessio Lin via Unsplash (Unsplash licence)

Old engine technologies provide inefficient engines that burned fuel and created a significant amount of waste. Yet, the automotive industry has been focusing on designing new engines for the newer car models to burn fuel more efficiently by utilizing intake valves that help the car make the most out of the fuel in its tank.

Vehicle weight and horsepower are two fundamental attributes that significantly influence a vehicle’s CO2 emissions and fuel economy. So, it would be expected that the newly designed car models that provide more horsepower to also have higher CO2 emissions and lower fuel economy. However, over time, the automotive industry has also designed technology innovations that increase fuel economy and power of the car while maintaining the same vehicle weight. Engine technologies such as turbocharged engines and gasoline direct injection are two of the technological innovations adopted by car manufacturers to produce vehicles that provide lower CO2 emissions, fuel economy, and performance goals.

The automotive industry is the one that has truly recognized the faults in its ways and took initiative to make a change for better. Perhaps their initiatives to switch to greener production and improved fuel-efficiency are the results of the rising awareness among their consumers regarding the environmental problems and the more drastic government regulations.

Eco-friendly consumers perhaps play the strongest role in the ways that car manufacturers produce their cars because most of them tend to turn to sustainable businesses. Recent studies show that sustainable marketing is nowadays the most powerful tool to attract and retain customers. Therefore, the automotive industry had to make a significant change in order to keep its customers.

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