Car Industry: how to move towards sustainability

Risultati immagini per car pollutionAccording to statistics, approximately 30% of European CO2 emissions are caused by the transport sector. In particular, 72% of these emissions are due to road transportation (= cars and trucks). Then, are electric vehicle a worthy alternative? How about the high costs needed to buy one of these vehicles? Let’s consider the idea of buying a Tesla, one of the emblem of electric vehicles. A model of Tesla costs on average 62’000 before taxation and in Italy the average disposable income per capita is $26’588 a year. Even if we assume to have enough financial resources, are electronic vehicles a real sustainable choice? A possible answer can be found by looking at the element which make them so special and which, at the same time, turns up being their major drawback: the battery. There are two main issues linked to electric vehicles’ batteries: the first one is related to their production while the second one to their disposal. Indeed, batteries are produced through rare-earth minerals, which are extracted mostly from Congo and China. However, it is debatable whether this process of extraction is sustainable. Radioactive elements have been frequently found in rare-earth minerals mines and labour exploitation has been also related to the extraction of this mineral. Not very sustainable, right? Moreover, a second problem might arise when it comes to the disposal of these batteries which can be extremely harmful to the environment. So, are there any other solutions? Yes. And definitely less expensive.
By carrying out car’s maintenance it can be possible to reduce pollution and stimulate circular economy. To deepen this argument, we have asked Alessandro Bianchi Maiocchi, founder of the start-up “Meccamico” (literally “mechanic friend”) how to overcome car’s pollution problems. The young entrepreneur Alessandro explained to us that every year in Europe is produced almost 9 million of tonnes of wastage related to the automobile sector. One of the easiest ways to avoid this useless waste of resources is by taking from old cars those components still in good conditions, reutilising and making them circulate again in the market. Today, the process of reutilising resources can be done also with cars’ oil, again another very polluting component. The startup “Meccamico” is committed to create a network where people who have access or are looking for specific car components can be placed in contact with those who are able to make the practical work. Therefore, as a very first (and cheap) step, each of us could potentially contribute in reducing vehicles’ pollution by simply taking care of our car and having the farsightedness of checking it with frequency through car’s coupons.

Written by Rebecca Budel