There are certain federal regulations that car manufacturers must comply with in regard to safety, efficiency, and ecological friendliness. However, the last few years have seen many of those regulations rolled back. Especially when it comes to the impact that cars can have on the environment. You might think that this would result in lower and more lax environmental standards when it comes to manufacturing vehicles, but in fact, the opposite is true. Despite no longer being compelled by federal regulations, big-name car brands are voluntarily going green. They are backing up their words with actions. Specifically, they are drawing attention to the environmental friendliness of their vehicles.
Meeting Customer Demand
Even a few years ago, it was difficult to find an electric vehicle or hybrid car unless it was a custom defender specifically modified as such or a Tesla that was prohibitively expensive. Now, however, all the biggest automotive name brands, including Nissan, Honda, BMW, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Ford, Toyota, and Kia, are offering more eco-friendly car models alongside their traditional gas-guzzling options.
Why? Because that’s what customers want.
Millennials are quickly becoming the largest consumer demographic. They are increasingly aware of the effects of climate change. Not just in theory, but in the current observable impact it is having in their lives and around the world. They want cars that don’t contribute to this problem, and they aren’t willing to compromise about it. Car manufacturers understand that they won’t make any money building vehicles that no one will buy. So, they are manufacturing cars that are more environmentally friendly and making sure that potential customers, particularly millennials, know that that’s what they have to offer.
Saving Customers Money
Customers are always looking for a bargain, trying to get the most value for the least amount of money. Any manufacturer or major corporation, therefore, wants to be seen as helping customers to save money by buying their products.
Gas prices fluctuate frequently and seemingly arbitrarily. By contrast, electricity prices tend to be fairly steady. This is something that car manufacturers can use as an incentive to convince customers to buy their vehicles. It may be more convincing to those who do not pay much attention to the environment but care about balancing a monthly budget.
Playing to the Common Denominator
While federal environmental standards for car manufacturers have been relaxed, individual states can establish their own standards. These vary widely by jurisdiction, with some being considerably more strict than others.
Car manufacturers ship vehicles to sell all over the country. They need to be sure that the vehicles they send to a specific geographic area meet the standards in place in that area. Otherwise, not only will they be unable to sell cars, but they may also face legal action for violation of environmental regulations. The easiest and most practical thing to do is to build cars that meet the strictest standards. This guarantees that their cars can be sold in every state without any headaches of worrying about which vehicles to send to which areas to remain in compliance.
Concern About the Environment
It’s cynical to say that car manufacturers and other corporations don’t care about the environment as long as they are making money. They see what is happening in the world, and they understand the effects that climate change is having. They have families for whom they want to leave a cleaner, healthier Earth. Concern for the environment may not be the primary concern of any of these companies. However, it is probably not something they completely disregard either.
Not only that, but many of them see that becoming more environmentally friendly is key to preserving their business, both now and in the future. Those who are particularly far-seeing perceive that producing electric and hybrid cars is key to the survival of their companies, and perhaps themselves.
Federal regulation rollbacks have lowered the standard the car manufacturers have to meet. However, they have other motives to keep those standards high.
Author: Finnegan Pierson