The environmental impacts of cars, explained
Automobiles have a big footprint, from tailpipe emissions to road infrastructure. Learn more.
Cars can convey a sense of freedom and movement, not to mention style and status. But they also can have a big impact on the planet. Here's a few key areas to consider.
Cars consume a lot of energy before they ever make it to the open road. Automotive production leaves a giant footprint because materials like steel, rubber, glass, plastics, paints, and many more must be created before a new ride is ready to roll.
Similarly, the end of a car’s life doesn’t mark the end of its environmental impact. Plastics, toxic battery acids, and other products may stay in the environment. Fortunately, junkyard pile-ups are becoming much smaller than they were in the past. About three-quarters of today’s average