Three interesting sustainability projects you probably haven’t heard about



Three interesting sustainability projects you probably haven’t heard about

Sustainability in the automotive industry is a big topic. When you consider the tens of thousands of components that make up the average car, the scope for OEMs and the supply chain to make incremental improvements to the overall sustainability of their models is enormous.  

We’re already making the business of electric motors more sustainable with our efficient machines. They don’t use permanent magnets made of environmentally damaging rare-earth elements. Copper isn’t a necessity either, which makes it easy to recycle our motors at the end of their service life.

Elsewhere in the sector, innovative businesses are leading the charge to create a more sustainable automotive future. These are just three of the many projects that are driving change.

Ford and McDonalds

A collaboration between Ford and fast-food retailer, McDonald’s, is exploring the process of turning coffee chaff, the dried skin of coffee beans removed during roasting, into car parts. Together, the pair are developing a sustainable composite material that could be suitable for use in headlight housings and other interior and exterior fixtures. The material will be lightweight, durable and environmentally friendly – helping to reduce waste and promoting a circular economy.

Biofore Concept Car

Developed by Finnish pulp and paper manufacturer, UPM, and the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, the Biofore Concept Car has been designed as a showcase of renewable materials in automotive applications. The car’s unique body is produced from UPM’s durable wood-based biomaterials and features a bark-like surface texture to give it an organic feel.

Other green features include an electric powertrain, LED lighting and tyres made from recycled materials. Though just a concept, the car serves as proof that natural, renewable materials can play a role in the vehicles of the future.

Toyota Woven City

Construction is currently underway on Toyota’s Woven City – an experimental 175-acre ‘living laboratory’ that will eventually house up to 2,000 residents. Situated at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan, the residential site will be used to test and develop technologies, including AI, in a true-to-life environment. Electricity will be supplied using hydrogen fuel cells and buildings are being constructed using ancient Japanese woodworking techniques.