Sustainable Mobility – How Automakers Are Embracing Eco-Friendly Practices

Under pressure from customers, investors, and employees to adopt more sustainable practices, the automotive industry faces significant catching-up requirements – especially manufacturers.

Happily, these trends are picking up momentum. Numerous car makers have set sustainability goals and implemented new processes in order to reach them.

Energy Efficiency

Automakers understand that sustainability means meeting our own needs without diminishing future generations’ ability to meet theirs, so they are working tirelessly to increase energy efficiency in their vehicles by using innovative technologies like electrical braking and permanent magnet motors that reduce dependence on fossil fuels while simultaneously helping lower their manufacturing carbon footprints.

However, the auto industry remains far from meeting its goal of sustainable mobility. Even if all current gas and diesel cars were converted to electric vehicles (EVs), transportation still accounts for 30% of global energy consumption.

Electric vehicles (EVs) use less energy than traditional cars, yet transitioning fully to electric mobility will require an enormous increase in energy production. To transition effectively will require access to lithium and cobalt that currently are unavailable as well as significant amounts of renewable energy resources – hence why EV industry players are looking for ways to maximize resource use while simultaneously reducing waste through design, reuse, repair and recycling processes.

Governments and companies alike are taking steps to ease this strain on the environment by developing initiatives that encourage public transport usage while decreasing car ownership. Such efforts include installing high-occupancy vehicle lanes and carpooling services, as well as switching from road transport to rail transport – such as when French company Alstom developed state-of-the-art light rail vehicles capable of transporting more people while having much less of an environmental footprint than conventional buses.


The automotive industry needs to rethink its production practices in order to mitigate adverse environmental impacts and preserve energy and natural resources. One approach would be utilizing eco-friendly materials, such as recycled aluminum and thermoplastics that can be reused again for new products; using such eco-friendly components reduces waste while cutting emissions while offering cost savings.

Although automakers should view sustainability as an impediment to profitability, instead embracing it as an opportunity to foster long-term value creation for all stakeholders and drive future prosperity is something they should embrace as a generational opportunity.

At the same time, they should consider alternative transport choices with reduced environmental impacts and greater social value than electric vehicles alone. Not only can these choices reduce fuel use while helping ease traffic congestion and road crashes; these can include green public transit vehicles like electric trains and buses as well as more sustainable modes like cycling or walking.

At present, the primary challenge facing global mobility systems is shifting away from car-based individual mobility towards more sustainable modes of transport. To do this requires comprehensive policies and interventions; unfortunately those implemented to date tend to focus solely on electric vehicles (EVs) without conducting an in-depth analysis of their internal (energy consumption) and external impacts (social inclusion and environmental justice).


Automotive companies have taken significant strides toward more eco-friendly manufacturing. Utilizing recycled materials, cutting back on energy use and striving for carbon neutral production. As one of the primary contributors to pollution, this effort represents a welcome development.

Automakers are currently facing both external and internal pressure to alter their practices, with longtime employees retiring and being replaced with young tech-savvy workers that question traditional methods. Furthermore, some younger consumers insist on purchasing cars produced ethically and sustainably.

With governments adopting more stringent CO2 emission standards, many carmakers are striving to lower their carbon emissions through more eco-friendly vehicle design. They embrace circular economy principles by designing products to be reusable or recyclable and by shifting toward electric cars as ways of mitigating their footprints.

At present, the top ten automakers worldwide are adopting levels of circularity from Level 1 to 4 (Table 1, below).

To meet their sustainability goals, organizations have prioritized reusing materials and reducing waste through methods like using remanufactured parts, recycling old batteries and finding more sustainable materials sources. Toyota for instance is using fabric scrap from airbag and tire cord manufacturing processes to make carpets, seat coverings, head liners, sun visors and trays for its vehicles; in addition, waste plastics generated from ghost nets may also be converted into knitted, non-woven and suede fabrics used as car seats, wheel guards fan shrouds and trunk mats.

Fuel Efficiency

Automakers can reduce their environmental impact by switching to renewable fuels and limiting emissions during transport, using electric batteries or green hydrogen fuel cells and providing sufficient charging points for these vehicles. To do this successfully.

Eco-friendly car manufacturing aims to minimize resource use by using renewable energies as much as possible and by using alternative materials and production processes that use less resources during production. It may involve fewer parts and components being included on vehicles, optimized production processes, alternative materials being utilized and using less non-renewable energy sources than is traditionally required to create vehicles.

Implementing new technologies is another effective way to make vehicles more eco-friendly, as they can significantly contribute to reducing emissions and traffic congestion. Intelligent transport systems (ITS) for instance can help predict traffic jams before they happen and plan routes accordingly, as well as decrease fuel consumption by optimizing driving mode settings.

Encourage people to adopt more eco-friendly modes of transportation by encouraging electric car usage and building infrastructure that favors non-motorised forms, like bike lanes. Climate legislation such as California’s recent ban on purchasing gasoline powered vehicles can also serve to motivate people into trying public transit options.

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