11 Mar, 2021

The use of green technology as an alternative to traditional fuel is fast getting acceptance from the masses. The new breed of cars rolling out of auto facilities is designed to deliver low or zero emissions without compromising performance. The popularity and rising sales of these vehicles are testaments to this fact. Even in India, electric vehicles have shown phenomenal growth in the last couple of years. While soaring fuel prices is a motivator, the advancement in battery technology has been a big factor behind this shift. Electric vehicles have now become more practical with quick charging times and longer ranges. 

But the move to electric isn’t the only step the automobile industry has taken to be more eco-friendly. Automakers are doing a lot of things to make car manufacturing as well as driving a greener experience. They are tweaking the engine, making the car lighter, and a lot more. 

Let’s delve deeper into some of these disruptive green trends prevalent in auto technology:

Efficient intake valves for better fuel efficiency

Fuel efficiency

Automakers have been playing around with engine valves for ages to extract maximum power and offer the best fuel economy possible. The consumption of fuel largely depends on how efficiently it is burnt in the combustion chamber. With efficient intake valves, the chamber gets a better air-fuel mixture which helps the engine breathe easier. The effortless flow of air into the combustion chamber results in optimum burning of fuel, which improves fuel efficiency figures. More power from less fuel is one of the best green solutions automobile makers are adopting.

Reduce Reuse Recycle

Recycle

Several individual components come together to form a vehicle and the process of making each of them can be quite wasteful. But to aim for a greener future, automobile manufacturers are equipping their cars with components made out of materials that can be reused and recycled. This saves cost and results in less load on the environment by having a ripple effect on other industries. For instance, recycled steel creates energy savings in the steel manufacturing industry.

Recycling lithium batteries, soy paddings in doors and seats

Lithium batteries

The lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles are being recycled as most of their content can be extracted and reused to produce a new battery. For instance, MG ZS EV packs a 44.5 kWh battery (largest in EV SUV segment), which is recycled to reduce the load on the environment. It gets an excellent ICAT-certified range of 419 kilometres on every full recharge. To further boost India’s e-mobility future, MG Motor has teamed up with TES-AMM to discard the batteries safely, thus ensuring minimal carbon footprint. 

Similarly, automakers use soy paddings in the doors and seats instead of conventional foam or other materials. This soybean-sourced padding ensures there is no additional clutter in the environment as they are biodegradable. Moreover, the use of vegan leather covers in vehicles such as MG Gloster is a step in the right direction.

Stop/Start technology to cut down emissions

Emissions

Another prevalent feature that is available in most modern cars is the start/stop tech. It has been reported to save around 10% of fuel by turning off the engine when the vehicle is stationary. The same tech turns off the engine in hybrid cars when cruising at low throttle loads or descending from a higher point. The engines get back to life when the clutch is engaged, or the car is ready to move again. This move from care manufacturers not only saves car owners some fuel money but also lowers carbon emission and fuel usage.

Turbocharged engines and better fuel emission norms

Fuel emission norms

Turbocharged engines and petrol-run engines produce lower CO2 emissions. The turbo ones do not only save fuel but also generate more power in most cases. With stricter BS6 fuel emission norms in place, many leading brands have paused the production of their diesel cars and are focussing only on petrol ones. All this goes a long way in reducing our carbon footprint.

Increased use of aluminium

Use of aluminium

Aluminium has replaced the bulky metals in the chassis and other parts of the car, significantly reducing its weight. Apart from being light, it also has high tensile strength, making vehicles a lot safer as it provides impeccable rigidity to the overall structure. The commonly manufactured parts in aluminium include engine radiators, engine cylinder blocks, transmission bodies, suspension parts, bumpers, wheels, and body parts such as the hoods, doors, and frames.

Besides strengthening the vehicle’s structure, the lightweight material ensures the total kerb weight of the vehicle is reduced by a fair margin. The reduced weight means the vehicle can travel longer distances with the same amount of fuel, thus, reducing the overall fuel usage. 

While electric cars are doing a lot to give the automobile industry a greener future, these big and small changes from all automobile manufacturers are helping us reduce our carbon footprint significantly. With each passing day, we are developing newer technology and refining the older ones to make sure while we travel in style, our impact on the environment is minimal.

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