Navigating the Green Revolution: Transformations and Challenges in the Automobile Industry

Artikkelin lukuaika: 4 minAsiantuntijablogi
The entire automobile industry is undergoing a profound transformation. Professionals play a crucial role in guiding both companies and individual consumers on navigating the plethora of options available to car users today.
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The automobile industry is significantly impacted by climate change, necessitating swift reductions in traffic and motoring emissions. In Finland, regulations dictate that polluting emissions from cars must be halved by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. Meanwhile, in the EU, all new cars sold from 2035 onwards must be zero-emission or run on synthetic fuel.

“There's intense competition to have the most effective car supply chain, from factory to end-user,” notes Tero Lausala, CEO of The Finnish Central Organisation for Motor Trades and Repairs. As the production side of the industry pivots towards electric cars, the importance of long-lasting batteries is growing, reshaping geopolitical dynamics.

“Traditionally, the automobile industry has been dominant in Europe, the USA, and Japan. Now, China has emerged as a major player, with control over battery minerals becoming pivotal,” explains Petteri Pihlas, Managing Director of Drivalia Lease Finland.

New cars are increasingly defined by robotics and programming, generating substantial data. This raises critical questions about control and sharing mechanisms.

Greener choices are viable and essential right now

Massive investments are now directed towards eco-friendly driving, marking the largest-ever commitment in the industry's history. This bodes well for both car producers and drivers alike.

“The goal is to minimize effects throughout the entire production chain, from start to finish,” says Petteri Pihlas.

Consumers are already posing pertinent questions to make environmentally conscious choices, not just about electricity but also about the manufacturing processes.

“Opting for low or zero emissions is a responsible choice available to all consumers and companies purchasing or leasing new cars,” emphasizes Tero Lausala.

Empowering change by electric cars and sustainable mobility

The transition to meet emission targets heavily relies on electric cars. But is it the ultimate solution?

“While electric cars are theoretically the best option, achieving set targets would require selling large quantities. The prices are high, and no one can be forced to buy one. That’s why they are a part of the solution, but not the entire fix,” asserts Pihlas.

With 1.5 billion combustion engine cars still in use globally, the challenge is considerable. In Finland, out of 2.8 million cars, only 3.5 percent are electric. Even with 30 percent of new cars in Finland being electric last year, a substantial shift will take time. However, advancements in emission-free synthetic fuels for combustion engines could make a significant impact in the future.

“The CEO of Toyota has already urged the organization to develop zero-emission combustion engines,” notes Lausala.

Making informed choices in a dynamic market

Comparing cars has never been as challenging as it is now. Where to begin?

“Companies should first define their vehicle needs, considering their purpose and impact on the business. Goals should cover all these three areas: expenses, user needs, and environmental effects,” advises Petteri Pihlas.

Finding the most suitable and sustainable options may require professional assistance.

“We believe the need for a professional partner is greater than ever. We assist customers in finding the best option for their specific needs in all three areas.”

The same applies to all car owners. Assistance is available and necessary.

“Consider your driving habits, whether it’s more short or long distances, and your future needs for the car. Can you charge an electric car at home? Share your answers with industry experts to find the best solutions for you,” encourages Tero Lausala.

Challenges present opportunities

So, money is poured into the development of greener cars and fuels, and significant progress is being made. The automobile industry is deeply committed to addressing environmental challenges, and only time will reveal the adequacy of these efforts.

The needs for investments remain substantial, with an air of uncertainty surrounding demand.

“There prevails a technological uncertainty that impacts both production and consumers. It follows a typical technology curve that high hopes lead to the valley of disappointment. We are currently in the early stage of technological development, with products evolving rapidly. Informed customers may prefer to wait and observe improvements in electrical architecture, battery technology and programming over the next few years,” shares Lausala.

“On the other hand, it’s akin with computers. If you need one, you have to buy one. You can’t indefinitely wait for future developments if you need one now. Technology will always advance,” Pihlas adds.

Certain advancements can already be achieved by updating the programming of older car models, as demonstrated by Tesla.

“The challenges present also great opportunities for the industry to improve both environmentally and in terms of safety. It’s remarkable how much progress has been made in such a short time. The pace of technological advancement is truly impressive,” Lausala rejoices.

Text by Emma Suominen. Article is published in Professio Business Class Magazine 3/2024.

Julkaistu 20. maaliskuuta 2024
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