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Driving Toward an Energy Efficient World

Posted by Roger Ryall

Driving Toward an Energy Efficient World

The catastrophic impact of natural disasters affecting the globe has signaled an inclusive need for industries to evaluate their participation in protecting the environment.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, there was a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2015. The Government concluded that this steady progression was a result of mining and upstream oil and gas production as well as transport. This has influenced automotive designers to focus on creating vehicles that support a reduction in gas emissions and the protection of our planet.

The evolution of the automotive industry has migrated toward electric vehicles (EV’s) in addition to implementing eco-friendly features in combustion vehicles. It’s clear that the wellbeing and future of our planet is considered when new fleets are designed and developed. However, there is important information on the current issues facing the environment that automotive developer’s need to learn about.

A Phenomenon Called Climate Change

There are many factors that contribute to global warming. Environment and Climate Change Canada provides their insight into the most contributing cause of global warming.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, human-driven releases of GHG emissions disrupt the natural processes occurring in the atmosphere and are extremely likely to be the dominant cause of the observed warming that has occurred since the mid-20th century.

Although this was only one of seven sources listed, 80% of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in Canada are produced by human sources. This evidence should motivate the automotive industry to actively learn about the environment while researching and developing efficient ways to reduce emissions.

Transportation is actively moving towards environmentally friendly roads with the advancement of EV’s and fuel economy vehicles. This isn’t limited to sedans, hatchbacks or SUV’s. Supply chain transportation is slowly integrating connected, autonomous and electric powered vessels to their fleets. What’s attracting this shift? Efficiency, productivity and environmental benefits.

The Environmental Benefits of Electric Vehicles

According to Fleetcarma, the total number of electric vehicles sold in Canada last year reached a record high of 11,000. Popular models included the Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Model S, and Nissan Leaf. From their low maintenance costs to connected features, EV’s represent a generation of vehicles that are both practical and efficient.

The switch from gas powered cars to plug-ins is a step in the right direction to a progressive solution for our environment. The Ergon Energy Network outlines three benefits:

  • Decrease in pollution and gas emissions
  • Use of eco-friendly materials for design and development
  • Charging stations use renewable energy

Although it will take a significant level of global effort to reduce the total impact of gas emissions, the move toward EV’s is a good start. Further research on the pros of using EV’s conclude that they require less mechanical maintenance in comparison to combustion vehicles. However, are combustion vehicles also taking steps to help the environment? The answer is yes.

Fuel Economy Features

The Government of Canada states that cars, buses and transport trucks are the main contributors to air pollution. However, emission control technologies have been have been regulated as a government initiative to help reduce the overall impact of GHGs.

A well-known fuel economy feature created for regular combustion vehicles is the start-stop system. This technology functions by shutting off the gas when the car comes to complete stop. The ignition restarts once the driver’s foot is taken off the gas. To reduce the needless burning of gas when cars are idle during long stops or traffic, start-stop systems will help reduce the overall expenditure.

In conclusion, the Canadian automotive industry is taking action toward making our roads efficient and eco-friendly. Their efforts cater to both EV markets and those who prefer normal gas powered vehicles.