Vehicles become “green”
All means of transport (Road, Rail, Air & Water) contribute to global CO2 emissions by 17%. Since 1998, the automotive sector is the unique transport sector, which joined a voluntary agreement with the EU, in order to reduce emissions that cause the greenhouse effect.
The results of this initiative were exceptionally positive, as the overall CO2 emissions revealed a drop of 10.8%. In 2003, the average level of emissions was constrained at 165 gr/km, while several new car models emit under 100 gr/km. An average modern car produces only 1% of the pollutant elements (CO2, NOX and CO) of a 1970’s car, while the level of noise is 90% lower.
Furthermore, since 2010, an EU regulation has been applied, according to which from 2015 the average CO2 emissions of new passenger cars must be lowered to 120 gr/km.
Every year, ACEA members spend over €20 billion, or over 4% of their turnover, on Research & Development. Innovation focuses on improvements in engine technologies, aerodynamics as well as on the reduction of rolling resistance and vehicle’s mass. Moreover, auto industry develops internal combustion engines, hybrid systems, electrical motors, several forms of fuel cells, particulate matter filters for diesel engines, supports the usage of alternative fuels and the engine’s cooling fluids. Furthermore, vehicles’ air conditions are now significantly improved in terms of energy consumption, cooling fluids and leakage.
Since 1990, another initiative of the auto industry is that of recycling materials at the end of products’ life. The EU directive 2000/53 about end-of-life vehicles resulted to the reuse and recovery of 85 % by an average weight per vehicle in 2006. In 2015 this percentage is expected to reach 95%. In this context, the non-profit organization Alternative Management of Vehicles Hellas (EDOE) was founded in Greece.