Environmental Impacts Of The Automobile Industry

838 Words 4 Pages
In 1903, Henry Ford established the first automobile company in the United States, the Ford Motor Company, and five years later the company rolled out the first Model T. Today, according to Select.USA.gov the U.S. has one of the largest automotive markets in the world and is home to 13 auto makers. An average of 8 million passenger vehicles were produced annually from 2008 to 2012 (selectusa.commerce.gov)”. Automobile usage is increasing in the USA exponentially. According to LA Times (2014) there are 253 million cars and trucks on the road.
“In many ways, the automobile epitomizes the environmental challenge of today. It is a large consumer of a critical and limited fossil energy re- source; in many countries it is the largest contributor
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Among the most troubling externalities of the automotive industry is the release of corrosive pollutants into the earth 's soil and water.
The EPA did a study in northwest region 10 stating that brake debris and tire particles are pollutants that need to be addressed as it leads to the formation of black carbon that leaches into the soil. Also the brake and tire debris impacts the design and use of the automobile. The bigger vehicle would lead to larger brake debris and tire particles since it would require greater amounts of resistance.
In the manufacturing process, painting and coating discharges nickel, copper and hexavalent chromium as industrial water waste into streams. These processes are the biggest culprits of environmental pollutants. Improve advancements in paint and coat chemistry would decrease the negative
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In 2010, Nissan released the Nissan Leaf (leading environmentally-friendly affordable family car) a so called “affordable,” an all electric vehicle that produces zero emissions and had a minimal impact on the environment. However, in reality there is no such thing as zero emission because the emission is shifted to electricity or some other source, and “it cuts little CO2 and surprisingly kills almost twice the number of people compared with regular gasoline cars” (Bjorn L, 2015). “Electric cars are essentially coal-powered cars. Their carbon emissions can be worse than gasoline-powered cars (Kholsa, Vinod). Desperate automakers, such in the recent case of Volkswagen, were caught after the carmaker illegally installed software in its diesel-power cars to evade emission standards (Farrell 2015).
“The environmental challenges the automobile industry faces today are radically different from those it has confronted over the past three de- cades. These differences arise from major changes in their technological, economic, and political context, and their resolution will require a serious reexamination of the corporate and governmental institutions with which the automobile industry must interact” (Fine, Lafrance & Hillebrand, 1996).
In conclusion, the American automobile industry has made significant operational improvements but it still lags in overall product development to reduce the environmental

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