- Proposed Topic: How the latest improvements in the automobile industry are working to protect the environment.
- Tentative Thesis Statement: The automobile industry is well-regulated regarding the issue of sustainability and innovation process. Vehicle manufacturers play a crucial role in the environmental and social development of the global economy concerning the sustainability framework. However, industry innovations need to adhere to the prevailing ecological standards. According to Vaz, Rauen, and Lezana (2017), the most common environmental measures implemented in the auto sector include “the minimization of greenhouse gas emissions, life-cycle assessment, cleaner production, reverse logistics and eco-innovation” (p. 2). Therefore, it is critical to analyze the latest improvements in the automobile sector in terms of environmental practices, compliance with the ecological standards, and measures that aim at protecting the environment.
- Intended Audience: The American car manufacturers who aim at producing more eco-friendly vehicle technology and pursue environmental sustainability to compete with external automotive markets; Individuals who are poorly informed about the significance of the automotive sector in terms of environmental regulations.
The Latest Research on a Topic and Problem Solutions
Considering severe environmental challenges in modern society, such as gas emissions, toxic pollutions, global warming, and public health, the car industry should be primarily focused on environmental business strategies. Johnson (2016) states that strict emissions regulations in the United States caused the emergence of new technologies focused on improving the car and make it “less environmentally taxing and harmful to human health” (p. 23).
Thus, it is essential for vehicle manufacturers to remain future-oriented by producing products in a way that is responsive to ecological concerns. One of the latest improvements in the automobile industry is the green marketing approach, also known as “ecological marketing or sustainable marketing,” that emerged from the developed countries in Europe and America (Kushwaha & Sharma, 2016, p. 117). It is based on different strict environmental norms and regulations for the industries. Green marketing and sustainable development are closely intertwined, which means that industries highly request such an approach since it is targeted at meeting the current and future needs of individuals and society.
Automobile companies are adopting green initiatives to eliminate the pressures and improve the image by maintaining a business in a sustainable manner. This includes “green supply chain management, reverse logistics, green marketing, green advertising, and use of eco-labeling” (Kushwaha & Sharma, 2016, p. 119). For instance, China implements green technological innovation in the automotive industry to reduce carbon emissions and improve the sector’s performance in the ecological market.
In addition, Toyota, as a leader in sustainable innovation, creates a green image in a meaningful way by changing their engines in hybrid combustion electric and eco-division. Other manufacturers, such as Ford, Honda, Nissan, and Volkswagen, produce cars in the same environmental direction. The green approach is as well dependent on the increased demand for green vehicles of the individual consumer. This facilitates automobile manufacturers to perform in a sustainable manner. Major car firms contribute to ensuring protection to the environment by fulfilling the set regulations.
The automobile industry is considered a determining factor of the country’s economy and trade. The power of car manufacturing directly influences other sectors of the economy, as well as technology. The significant number of recent research is primarily focused on various environmental practices. This refers to the issues of “gas emissions in 37% of the cases, eco-innovation in 27%, life-cycle assessment in 18%, cleaner production in 9% and reverse logistics in 9%” (Vaz et al., 2017, p. 11).
The studies about gas emissions examine the reduction of carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon gases. The exhaust gases that vehicles produce are a significant concern as they affect climate change and cause adverse health outcomes, such as lethality, non-allergic respiratory illnesses, allergic diseases, and various forms of cancer. Hence, the automotive sector is currently focused on eliminating environmental impacts by pursuing input use and renewable energy sources, improving energy conservation, proper use of water, waste management, and reducing the utilization of toxic substances.
Among other measures towards improved vehicle fuel effectiveness and reducing emissions is the emergence of hybrid petrol-electric power vehicles and the implementation of a car-sharing service. Such an approach can lessen the number of cars by nearly 40% and distances driven up to 60% (Vaz et al., 2017). Lee (2017) identifies three ways the car sector addresses the environmental crisis, in particular green production, lowering urban temperatures, and supporting GPR (ground penetrating radar) risk assessment initiatives.
The last improvement strategy facilitates the automotive industry to recycle older cars in an improved manner by modifying them into new aluminum-prominent cars. The significant effect of environmental applications of ground penetrating radar implies creating a future of much more recyclable vehicles that it has ever been.
Another innovation of the automobile industry emphasizes the implementation of fuel cells based on the benefit of PEM type fuel cell devices due to high efficacy and low emissions. Wilberforce et al. (2017) examined the recent progress of electric cars and fuel cell hydrogen electric cars, together with some improvement achieved by different car manufacturing companies across the globe. The researchers identified key challenges concerning the development of fuel cell technology in the car sector.
They include “high cost, low durability, hydrogen refueling infrastructure, and hydrogen storage on fuel cell vehicles” (Wilberforce et al., 2017, p. 25728). Recent studies demonstrated that electric cars could function within “4e8 miles per kWh energy” without the emission of greenhouse gases (Wilberforce et al., 2017, p. 25696). Based on the U.S. Department of Energy’s report, the internal combustion engines vehicles use 15% of the total fuel energy to drive the car, whereas 75% of the energy is beneficially used in electric vehicles.
The aggregate of the latest research about the contribution of the automobile industry to the environmental protection determined five environmental impacts of the life course related to production, utilization, and elimination of cars. The first impact lies in the fact that the automobile manufacturing processes are related to high levels of resource usage, which are sometimes non-renewable. The second impact implies the water and energy utilization in production and the emissions caused by energy generation.
The third influence is based on some components of car assembly and manufacturing. This is also associated with metal painting and finishing, which causes the emission of hazardous substances into the air, water, and soil. The fourth impact concerns the broad geographic scope of the automotive sector. This suggests that it should be supported through global logistics and distribution systems that will result in “enhancing the mileage of transport and emissions” (Vaz et al., 2017, p. 15). The last impact is based on the final stage of lifespan when vehicles also represent a significant amount of waste flow.
The future of the automobile industry is highly dependent on the increased focus on the global environment and measures towards its protection. The increased car usage and decreasing reserve of the traditional sources of vehicle fuels highlight the need to change the direction and improve the sector. By analyzing current advancements in vehicle and fuel cell technologies, one may conclude that they provide a forward-looking solution for the problem. The car industry is targeted at outsourcing renewable and recycled materials, adopting clean technology, and environmental control. With that said, responding to the ecological problems concerning vehicle emissions is highly crucial for the prosperity of society and the global environmental system.
Johnson, A. (2016). Environmental regulation and technological development in the U.S. auto industry. Washington Center for Equitable Growth.
Kushwaha, G., & Sharma, N. (2016). Green initiatives: a step towards sustainable development and firm’s performance in the automobile industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 121, 116-129. Web.
Lee, S. (2017). Three ways the auto industry is responding to the environmental crisis. Hackernoon. Web.
Vaz, C., Lezana, Á., & Rauen, T. (2017). Sustainability and innovation in the automotive sector: A structured content analysis. Journal on innovation and sustainability.9(6)(880), 1-23. Web.
Wilberforce, T., El-Hassan, Z., Khatib, F., Al Makky, A., Baroutaji, A., Carton, J., & Olabi, A. (2017). Developments of electric cars and fuel cell hydrogen electric cars. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 42(40), 25695-25734. Web.