Sustainability in the Automotive Industry Electric Cars

Gearing up to make sustainable changes in the Automotive Industry

Sustainability is becoming more and more at the forefront of consumers’ minds, and is a topic we at Decidedly have previously discussed. There’s no doubt that awareness of our environmental impact is increasing. For example, how many people do you know who have swapped out plastic water bottles and paper coffee cups for reusable alternatives? Or bring their own bags to the supermarket to avoid using excess plastic bags?

But it’s not just individuals who are starting to make a difference. Businesses are also recognising the need to step up and take responsibility. In September, over 150 Chief Executives from the world’s leading businesses congregated at the UN’s climate action summit with the end goal of keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, as well as working towards a net-zero emission future by 2050.


Passenger vehicles are a major source of air pollution – with road transport accounting for 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The automotive industry is certainly on the front line when it comes to reducing emissions and achieving the central goals laid out at the UN Summit. Carmakers will be feeling the pressure to transition to lower carbon, cleaner alternatives, particularly as compliance costs are set to triple by 2025 and consumers will be less willing to pick up these costs.


Traditional automotive companies are having to gear up and meet the demand for electric vehicles as one solution to lowering emissions. Many brands have already started directing investment towards electric vehicles. For example, General Motors, has gone as far as to aim for an ‘All Electric Future’.

But it’s not just switching to electrically powered cars that will make a difference. Traditional engines are also beginning to get a make-over. BMW is doing a great job in creating fuel saving cars with cleaner production processes. New developments such as ‘progressive turbocharger technology’ mean that BMW diesel engines are now capable of eliminating up to 90% of the nitrogen oxide emissions produced (a greenhouse gas impacting climate change). In addition, these engines emit 20% less C02 than a petrol engine and use 20% less fuel, allowing consumers to drive further whilst also reducing their carbon footprint. 


However, it’s not just about reducing environmental impact after the point of sale. A truly sustainable brand will encompass sustainable values from the beginning of manufacturing and throughout the entire life-cycle of the vehicle. And Tesla are a future-ready business already doing just that. Their focus is not only to develop products that are sustainably manufactured, but that are also superior to fossil-fuel alternatives. Furthermore, their batteries are recycled at the end of the car’s lifecycle, recovering 70% of the carbon dioxide.

More automotive brands must start producing greener, cleaner vehicles, as consumers grow increasingly aware of sustainability issues. This way, we can all be one step closer to the proposed net-zero emission future.