Car manufacturers and designers are constantly trying to reduce the environmental impact of cars. One way to do this is to make them more fuel-efficient, as the less fuel cars need, the less CO2 they emit.
Many car manufacturers are trying to improve the environmental performance of their cars either by developing smaller and lighter vehicles or by implementing advanced engine technologies. Cars can be made lighter by using light, high-performance and modern materials both in the body of the car and in the engine.
Modern materials such as plastics also give car designers freedom to create more aerodynamic vehicles, which is another way to save fuel.
There are a variety of other ways in which cars can improve their environmental performance. One example is hybrid vehicles, which combine a traditional petrol engine with an electric battery. German car manufacturer BMW has developed a car powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which produce no emissions whatsoever.
Manufacturers such as BMW also take steps to make the way in which they build their cars as environmentally-friendly as possible. BMW has a set of environmental guidelines that help guide its employee’s behaviour in fields such as responsible energy consumption.
Of course, we can all make efforts to reduce the climate impact of our own cars. This could be by making fewer unnecessary journeys, such as short trips to the shops, and by not leaving the engine running when the car is not moving. It is also important to make sure that we share cars wherever possible, for example by getting a lift to school with friends. Planning your trip effectively is another vital way to save energy – in the UK, 350,000 tonnes of fuel is wasted each year by drivers who get lost!
Chat 1: Automotive, how future car designs will help protect the environment
Read more about the chat guest: Dr. Rudolf Stauber (English)