More automakers choosing to go green with construction

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The Chevy Volt is just one of several cars manufacturers are making with recycled materials. Image: Flickr / Driving the Northeast / CC-BY

In addition to fuel economy, more car makers are starting to focus on the full life cycle of a vehicle. Chevrolet has announced eco-labels that will include environmental data on the construction of some vehicles. The 2013 Ford Escape will include door panels made of a renewable plant material.

The Ecologic Label

Starting with the 2012 Chevy Sonic, car maker Chevrolet will begin rolling what the Ecologic label on their vehicles. The label will outline the environmental impact of the vehicle from manufacturing to driving to full life cycle sustainability. These labels will go above and beyond the labels required by both the Environmental Protection Agency and California. This labeling is intended to eventually be included on all Chevrolet vehicles.

Building in renewable materials

Ford has recently announced that their 2013 Escape will contain even more recycled and sustainable materials. The door panels of the Escape will be constructed with half polypropylene and half kenaf, an edible plant used in fiber production around the world. The blend will cut the weight of the part by about 25 percent and take about 300,000 pounds of oil resin out of the production stream each year. This is in comparison to the over 19,150,000 barrels of oil per day used in the United States; a total of approximately 5,471,428,571 pounds per day.

[A high-efficiency vehicle, such as the ones at the Honda Austin dealership, can help cut fuel consumption.]

Diverting parts for the Volt

In addition to Chevy and Ford, GM is also trying to build more recycled materials into vehicles that they produce. The Volt production line made use of 212,000 pounds of waste from the oil booms used to clean up the BP oil spill. GM manufacturing processes also make use of recycled materials in the seat coverings and upholstery of vehicles. GM has also made an pledge to invest $40 million in green technologies.

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