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February 2022 | Companies

Sustainable mobility: what is the role of automotive component manufacturers?

Sustainable mobility is a core issue both for public and private agents. It is an objective with specific date to meet: 2035. Such year is expected to be the end of production and selling of combustion engine vehicles.

This objective, the one of sustainable mobility, poses a series of challenges in which the automotive sector is already working to bring a sustainability-based roadmap on all processes.

Sustainable mobility in the automotive sector. Key challenges.

For achieving a sustainable mobility, the automotive sector faces four main challenges:

Renewal of the car park to achieve sustainable mobility

Spain holds one of the oldest car parks in the EU. Transitioning to a cleaner mobility has implications at all levels.

Government purchasing subsidies are an essential step. In this sense, several market studies and opinion pieces state that a high volume of consumers is willing to change their purchasing habits to reduce environmental impact.

Eliminating combustion engines

Eliminating combustion motors must be go along building efficient charging networks and infrastructures. The production of green energy must be promoted to face such paradigm. Renewable energies are essential for the neutral emissions objective.

Reusing components to promote sustainable mobility

Recycling and reusing components play a fundamental role to achieve ambitious environmental plans in Europe regarding sustainable mobility. The sector of Spanish automotive component manufacturers has been for years devoted to component recycling, remanufacturing and reusing.

The circular economy in the framework of automotive component suppliers already recovers up to 95% of vehicle parts. This recovered material is used again in the industry or given to other commercial ventures.

I+D oriented to achieve sustainable mobility

For turning the electric vehicle into the car of the future, ideal conditions for its use must be developed. Here, innovation plays an essential role. At this point, as highlight, the automotive sector is the highest investor in the vital I+D process.

Innovation and development of new systems and technologies is profoundly rooted into the component industry which, only in Spain, invests three times the national average, a 4% of their billing.

Decarbonization, another great challenge of the automotive sector to reach sustainable mobility.

The automotive component manufacturer’s role is essential to reach decarbonization in the automotive industry.

In this sense, several methodologies can be observed which are devoted to reach objectives such as digitalization -due to its role in the energetic efficiency-, or as we mentioned above, the contribution of materials to decarbonization through circular economy, process improvement and synthetic elements substitution.

In this sense, some months ago, a debate on Fundación Repsol de Transición Energética at Universidad Pontificia Comillas analyzed the keys of decarbonization in the car sector during the seminar. This meeting gathered some companies belonging to Autoparts from Spain, such as Gestamp or Grupo Antolín.

During the event, Santiago Esarte, Advanced Manufacturing Manager at Gestamp, assured that “information is required to go further than energetic consumption and an optimization of processes by analyzing data and assessing new procedures”. On her part, Carolina Valdivielso, responsible of Climate Change and Circular Economy at Grupo Antolín, also attending the event, emphasized on the convenience of car recycling, sustainable materials and raw materials, insisting on the benefits of substitution of synthetic fibers for natural ones: “waste reusing must be achieved creating value in an out the industry by integrating sustainable vegetable fibers “she stated.


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