When measuring the carbon footprint of a standard vehicle, fuel consumption is usually the first thing to come to mind. After all, for the standard gas-powered car, experts estimate that nearly 90% of emissions during its lifecycle are due to usage. Manufacturing these machines also has a significant carbon footprint, even if it is more difficult to quantify.
Car manufacturing requires the extraction of raw materials such as steel, aluminum, plastic and rubber. The processing of these substances is extremely energy-intensive. However, because the manufacturing stage is somewhat invisible to the consumer, we tend to forget about its impact on the environment.
The effects of the standard gas-powered vehicle are significant. According to one report, greenhouse gas emissions from the car manufacturing industry exceed the energy footprint of the European Union. The production of electric vehicles has a higher carbon footprint, but this fact is irrelevant in terms of the energy saved during its lifetime.
While the auto manufacturing industry is actively working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, economic and consumer incentives will be essential in reducing environmental impact in the future.