Automakers boost up the force to lessen their carbon footprint.

Automakers accelerate force to lessen carbon footprint


Basically, emissions from vehicles add to the manufacturer’s balance sheet.  How essential can tailpipe emissions be withinside the grand scheme of things?

Automobile manufacturers are taking many steps, such as increasing renewable energy use and pushing suppliers to cut their emissions in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, but the biggest challenge for them is dealing with tailpipe emissions from the vehicles they sell.

Leveraging their vast manufacturing sites, automakers are deploying solar panels to produce bonded renewable energy.  They are signing power purchase agreements with third-party renewable energy providers to ensure that electricity is carbon-free.

For example, Maruti Suzuki has increased captive solar power generation from 1 MW to 26 MW four years ago, according to Rahul Bharti, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs at Maruti Suzuki.  He said the company is increasing its use of railways to reduce logistics-related emissions.

Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director, Auto & Farm Zone, Mahindra Group, said:  When judging a new project, the company is considering a $ 10 per tonne of CO2, which is estimated to be generated.  This will ensure that the less expensive but more polluting options do not trump the cleaner but more expensive options.  โ€œAt M&M, we pick out the dangers of weather extrade for our enterprise and stakeholders and construct an approach with a mitigation movement plan,โ€ he said.

However, these measures do not deal with the elephant in the room.

According to the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) protocol – an internationally recognized framework for measuring emissions – the carbon footprint of any company includes the direct emissions it produces and the indirect emissions from the energy it uses, its supply chain, and the life cycle of its products.  It sells

Basically, emissions from vehicles add to the manufacturer’s balance sheet.  How essential can tailpipe emissions be with inside the grand scheme of things?

According to Volkswagen AG’s Sustainability Report 2021, three-quarters of the group’s GHG emissions come from the tailpipe of the vehicles they sell.  Daimler reports that about 80% of its emissions in 2020 will come from the use of the vehicles it sells.

“Therefore, any automobile company that wants to reduce emissions needs to work on tailpipe,” said SJR Kutty, chief sustainability officer at Tata Motors.

While automakers are taking steps to make their vehicles more efficient and reduce tailpipe emissions in line with government-mandated standards like the BS-VI, experts say the biggest solution is to transition to cleaner vehicle technologies such as EVs or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.  “The entire transition have to be in the direction of 0 tailpipe emissions and this have to be led by way of means of production organisations like us,” Kutty said.

Tata Motors is currently the market leader in electric cars in India, with about 5% of its sales coming from EVs.  Suzuki Motor announced plans to invest more than โ‚น 10,000 crore in Gujarat in March.  The money will be used to establish a local capacity to manufacture EVs, batteries and a vehicle recycling plant.

Mahindra, Ashok Leyland and TVS Motor, among others, have set up separate subsidiaries to increase investment in EVs, reducing their tailpipe emissions.  But no company has yet committed to a complete transition from fossil fuel.

But EVs may not be the silver bullet everyone expects.  According to a recent report by Volvo, the carbon footprint that goes into making EVs outweighs the cost of manufacturing a combustion engine vehicle.  Swedish carmakers have reported that the production of its all-electric C40 recharge generates 70% more emissions than its combustion engine counterpart, the XC40.

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The production and supply chain typically accounts for 15-20% of the automaker’s carbon footprint.  Another challenge is the source of electricity used to drive EVs.  In a country like India, emissions from large volumes of fossil fuels are moving from the tailpipe to the power plant, Mohapatra said.

However, Kutty alleviates these concerns.  EVs have higher thermal efficiency than combustion engine vehicles, he said.  This means that although burning fossil fuel comes with 100% power, the carbon footprint of EVs is still lower than that of combustion engine vehicles.

And the needle is moving in a sustainable direction in India.  According to statistics from the Ministry of Power, fossil fuel-based power plants today account for 60% of installed power generation compared to 70% five years ago.  With the centre’s renewable push, the share of fossil fuel-based electricity is bound to decline further, with net emissions of EVs lower than those of fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

Therefore, as automakers take steps to clean up manufacturing processes to reduce their net carbon footprint, they need to look more deeply into supply chains and the technologies they bet on.

Sources : Economic Times.

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