Blog Car Talk 4 Eco-Friendly Trends Shaping Greener Cars Today
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4 Eco-Friendly Trends Shaping Greener Cars Today

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For a very long time, the car + gasoline was the way to go when it came to transportation. 

However, with rising concerns about the environment and sustainability, change is driving the automotive industry. Here’s a look at some trends that have risen as the auto industry pivots to address these concerns:

1. Sustainable Materials in Your Car

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword in the auto industry. Manufacturers are looking at ways to improve the durability of car parts, using natural fibers and recycled materials and designing components that decompose faster. 

Here are some eco-friendly materials that go into today’s cars:

These innovations create less reliance on virgin materials, cut down waste, and contribute to a smaller carbon footprint in the long run. 

2. Lightweight Design for Improved Fuel Efficiency

The idea here is simple: lighter cars need less fuel to move, which translates to fewer emissions.

In the quest for more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly vehicles, automakers are getting creative with materials and designs to make cars lighter without compromising safety or performance. 

Heard of carbon fiber?
It’s lighter than steel but stronger. Albeit it’s expensive to make — so you’ll most often see it on performance vehicles.

However, the adoption of plastic and polymer composites or light but strong alloys (like aluminum-magnesium) is what’s helping shed vehicle weight in regular passenger cars. Not only does a lighter car have better fuel economy and reduce emissions, but it also means less stress on various auto parts, ultimately leading to fewer replacements.

3. Alternative Energy Sources to Drive Forward

While the internal combustion engine is still popular, alternative powertrains are gaining traction, with electric vehicles (EVs) leading the eco-friendly charge. 

The fully electric vehicle relies exclusively on electricity as a power source — eliminating harmful emissions altogether. The most common electric engines are battery-driven (BEVs) and fuel cell-driven (FCEVs). 

Hybrid engines offer a compromise between the traditional piston-pumping engine and a pure-electric vehicle. There are several hybrid versions out there, including the full hybrid, where a regenerative braking system recharges the battery, and the plug-in hybrid (PHEV), where the battery is recharged from a power outlet. 

However, electricity isn’t the only green energy source out there. 
Here are some alternative fuels: 

4. Greener Production Strategies

Eco-friendly auto design isn’t just about what goes into the vehicle. It’s also about the entire process of making the vehicle. 

Think about it — what’s the point of creating an eco-friendly car if your manufacturing process is doing the opposite? 

Here’s where auto manufacturers are looking into integrating sustainability from the get-go — adapting their production and manufacturing processes to be more environmentally friendly. 

For example, Mercedes has taken an equity stake in a start-up that makes “green” steel. Traditional steel is created in a blast furnace, which emits over 2 tons of CO₂ per ton. Green steel is produced with hydrogen and 100% renewable electricity.

And guess what the waste product is? 
Now, considering that a Mercedes Benz sedan comprises about 50% steel, imagine how much more eco-friendly production becomes from using green steel going forward. 

Another example is Toyota, one of the largest car manufacturers in the world. Measures it’s taking to actively reduce its carbon footprint go from powering factories with renewable energy to using water-based paint on cars — even growing forests within its factory sites. 

A Positive Outlook on Auto Future

These aren’t the only eco-friendly trends appearing in the auto scene. Things like shared mobility and self-driving vehicles are also shaping themselves as a way to reduce emissions and solve issues like traffic congestion. 

And if you’re worried that your EV has a limited driving distance, battery technology is improving too, increasing range and charging speed. So, all in all, there’s a hopeful light as cars march on towards a carbon-neutral future.