Product Lifespan in Reducing Exhaust Emissions
As countries race to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change, discussions on green vehicles often focus on fuel efficiency and alternative fuels such as electricity and hydrogen. A common view is that the faster this transition, the better for the environment. Now, a new study on car use in Japan has shown that continuing to drive better fuel-efficient cars for longer periods of time, even in petrol vehicles, can significantly reduce CO2 emissions (compared to a rapid switch to alternative fuel vehicles).
“The sooner you replace a car, the more CO2 it emits,” says Shigemi Kagawa, a professor at Kyushu University’s School of Economics, who led the study. “This is no different from electric cars, because as demand for new cars increases, production spreads skyrocket.” Changing cars is a particularly fast activity in Japan, where people live long but there are no cars. The average life expectancy of a car is about thirteen years from birth in the factory to ending in the junkyard. Moreover; The average time for a first user to own a new car is seven years. These trends are largely attributed to the island nation’s mass production, mass-consumption economy, and costly vehicle inspection system. While these factors can help drive more fuel-efficient vehicles to the road, Kagawa explains that we need to look carefully at the supply chain to reduce carbon emissions by the most.