Car Manufacturers Are In A Unique Place To Become Circular
Auto manufacturers have the resources and strategic positioning required in order to establish a global automotive circular economy, according to The Guardian and a new report by ABN AMRO and Circle Economy. Currently, as The Guardian notes, car consumers on a global basis desire vehicles that are not only safe, affordable, and boast high gas mileage, but they also prefer vehicles that emit reduced emissions and are highly sustainable. Interestingly, a report titled “On the Road to the Circular Car,” argues that car manufacturers have the resources needed in order to meet current consumer demands and establish a wide-scale automotive circular economy.
The report looked to the Dutch automotive industry as a case study, and it noted that the Dutch auto industry is already starting to implement sustainable and circular trends that will allow the Dutch to create fully circular cars in the near future. Companies such as DSM and CLAUT have researched new lightweight materials and polymers that are not only easy to manufacture, but they’re also highly recyclable and have minimal, long-term environmental impact. These materials can also be paired easily with digital connectivity devices—such as advanced navigation systems or self-driving systems—which are currently in high demand.
The report also looked to the rise in popularity of car sharing—due to this increase, it’s expected that car usage will increase, but the need for more cars will actually decrease, leading to a lifetime vehicle expectancy drop from 10 years to six. The TU/ecomotive Nova, designed by a firm in the Netherlands, will feature a modular design that can help users get the most out of their vehicle during a short time frame: this particular vehicle will feature reconfigurable parts and components that can be adjusted easily depending on the user’s needs.
The Dutch automotive industry is on the cusp of creating a circular automotive industry, and as the “On the Road to the Circular Car” report noted, auto industries worldwide have the resources—and consumer demand—needed to curate not only a circular vehicle, but also a circular economy. The circular economy is the way of the future: countries and governments large and small recognize that that we, as a society, must lower our consumption rates of resources and instead focus on reuse and recycling. That’s part of the reason why the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched a circular economy program here in the U.S. To learn more about this unique program, click here.