Americans love the open road, but consumers have been more concerned with loving the planet in recent years. Auto manufacturers are responding with more eco-friendly vehicles for today’s drivers.
These state-of-the-art technologies include complex systems that change the way people travel to eco-friendly materials that last longer and reduce the reliance on non-renewable resources. For a little extra green in your next green light, here are five technological advances making cars more environmentally conscious.
In the past, manufacturers made tires from rubber tree sap. Once researchers discovered they could make tires faster and cheaper from oil, they stopped using the renewable rubber resource and turned to petroleum-based manufacturing. Though this development was excellent news for the price of tires, it was less so for the planet.
Today, manufacturers are still using petroleum-based materials, but they’re off-setting petroleum needs elsewhere to make up the difference. The newest tires with low rolling resistance add almost two miles-per-gallon to a vehicle’s fuel economy ratings.
The most exciting new green technology for tires includes 3D printing from bio-sourced, renewable resources. These 3D-printed tires reduce reliance on petroleum-based rubber, making tires eco-friendly.
Online marketplaces for used auto parts
Drivers who rely on used auto parts to repair their vehicles no longer have to dig through junkyards for a carburetor in a haystack. Now, consumers can turn to online auto salvage yards. These online used auto parts resources allow drivers to attain much-needed replacement parts while keeping more auto waste out of landfills.
Reusing auto parts is an eco-friendly practice, and All Truck and Car is taking the lead as a future-forward junkyard that created an online inventory search engine. Next time your check engine light comes on, save your wallet and your planet some green by visiting an online auto salvage provider.
Electric cars are here to stay. Drivers all over the country are turning to vehicles with powerful lithium-ion batteries that enable them to operate with less fuel. Even if the cars have a hybrid powertrain that relies on petroleum and battery power, electric vehicles still emit less carbon than traditional ones.
With better batteries and fast-charging stations, electric cars are becoming more popular with drivers who appreciate the reduced cost of driving, the government incentives, and the quiet morning commute.
Recycled and sustainable materials
Many automakers turn to recycled materials, especially in the passenger cabin. Some manufacturers use recycled plastic from water bottles to make vehicle seat covers. Others rely on recycled foam to make the padding in the seat cushions. The most innovative manufacturers reuse appliance parts to make dashboard components, reducing waste and new production.
Along with using recycled materials for interior components, manufacturers are sourcing more sustainable new materials, too. Many luxury brands use renewable wood like bamboo and eucalyptus in their wood trim. When making their luxurious door trims, these brands use minimal processing to reduce manufacturing chemical waste.
Other manufacturers turn to composite materials to reduce plastic use. Rather than using excessive amounts of plastic, automakers can use plastics reinforced with plant-based materials. Each machine is only as green as the sum of its parts, and the auto industry is stepping up to make those parts planet-friendly.
Drivers cannot yet purchase mass-produced solar-powered vehicles, but the technology is already here. A California company is making a solar-powered vehicle that can travel 40 miles using only solar cells. These cars are sure to be game-changers for sustainable travel whenever they hit the public market.
Gas-powered vehicles are convenient tools for traveling from point A to point B, but they don’t do the planet any favors in the process. Combustion engines may have built the automotive industry for over one hundred years, but it’s time to upgrade the technology. The latest green technology is making driving better for the environment and less expensive to sustain.