From wildfires driving out California residents to freezing water pipes in Texas to a scorching heat wave endangering lives in India, our planet is heating up and the daily impacts of climate change are getting harder to ignore. . In addition to impacting the way we live, climate considerations are driving changes in the way we do business and shaping the future development of major industries around the world.
Take the United Nations’ most recent climate report, which reminds us of what’s at stake for the global auto industry — and by extension, what’s at stake for Michigan and like-minded states and provinces. While global greenhouse gas emissions from transport increased by an average of 2% per year between 2010 and 2019, the UN report highlights encouraging signs of progress.
For example, electric vehicles are the fastest growing segment of the automotive industry. Nearly 9% of new vehicles sold globally last year were electric, up from 2.5% in 2019, according to the International Energy Agency. As we know, battery cars charged with low-carbon electricity can significantly reduce emissions.
In response to this evidence and national government policies in the United States, Canada and elsewhere, automakers and their suppliers are making once-in-a-generation investments to accommodate the accelerated conversion from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles.
The mission is so critical that automakers are forming partnerships and joint ventures to share costs, talents and capabilities to develop the technology needed to power the future of mobility.
At the same time, automakers are making significant investments to integrate smart, connected technologies into electric vehicles and traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. In important aspects, the next-generation vehicle becomes the epitome of climate response, an Internet of Things device on wheels.