Each new year, the auto industry is seeing trends that are motivated a great deal by the acceptance of global climate change issues. Thankfully consumers are demanding more from manufacturers and expecting them to provide cleaner, greener, and higher functioning cars. Most other additional trends are highly focused on the digital experience in the car. As a result, the trends for 2022 are showcasing a high rate of innovative auto creations that focus on making less of a negative environmental impact with a clear focus on electrification.
Green Car of the Year
Every year, the editors at Green Car Journal award one vehicle this highly-coveted award. The winner for 2022 is one from the Audi organization which has demonstrated a significant commitment to electrification with a growing number of plug-in hybrid and fully electric models. The winner, the Audi Q4 e-tron, is especially important because it offers drivers an electric SUV producing no emissions, at a reasonable price.
2022 Audi Q4 e-tron
Green Car of the Year is selected by a panel of 11 jurors, comprised of automotive experts and environmental leaders of the nation’s energy efficiency and environmental organizations. The winner is chosen based on its environmental friendliness. Other Green Car of the Year finalists were all fully electric vehicles:
- BMW i4
- Kia EV6
- Rivian R1T
- Volvo C40 Recharge
2022 AUTO TRENDS
Electric Vehicles (EV)
According to Fortune, ‘roughly 3.2 million of the total 10.2 million EVs built and sold to date can be found in Europe, nearly twice as many as those driving on U.S. roads.’ Electric vehicles are also highly popular in China with a reported 4.5million on the road. EV sales in America have been more gradual, but predictions indicate that sales will start to climb this year.
- According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Electric vehicles have several benefits for the planet, such as better fuel economy, significantly lower emissions, and costs equal to comparable gas cars.
- They offer an exceptionally smooth driving experience.
- If you’re looking for a greener vehicle, Hybrid cars are another popular option.
However futuristic it may seem, the trend of self-driving cars is real. A vehicle that doesn’t require a person to drive it is now a reality. Also known as ‘driverless cars’ or ‘autonomous cars’, these vehicles work by using sensory technology with radar, sonar, and lidar (light detection and ranging, 3D scanning). Plus odometry measurements to detect environmental changes and maintain a safe speed.
- According to TWI Global, there are 6 automation levels.
- Higher levels indicate more advanced automation tech.
- A level 2 automation vehicle has automated braking and accelerating, but the driver still needs to perform the majority of tasks.
- At level 5 the vehicle can perform all driving tasks, and no human intervention is required.
- Some researchers conclude that self-driving cars will be more eco-friendly. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), automated cars could reduce energy consumption rates by 90 to 200%.
Vegan-friendly cars are a popular trend that is continuing to rise in 2022 as a growing number of consumers are looking for ethical and green options when purchasing a vehicle. According to Car Magazine, some of the best vegan-friendly cars include:
- Tesla Model S
- Range Rover Velar
- Ford Mustang Mach-e
These vehicles include seats that are made from recycled materials, instead of the traditional leather interiors.
Other Ways to Become a Greener Driver
- Reduce your driving time by using alternative transport options.
- Use fuel consumption apps to monitor your usage.
- Try carpooling for your commute.
- Drive an electric or hybrid car.
- Consider using an e-bike.
Paving the way for a more sustainable future in vehicle usage are new advances in scooter technology with electric-powered concepts.
- Made by BMW who is leading the way in the future of eco-friendly urban transport alternatives, the ‘Dynamic Cargo’ and the ‘Clever Commuter’ have arrived.
- The Dynamic Cargo scooter resembles a ‘Big Wheel’ for adults, a compact three-wheeled unit capable of transporting large items and multiple people.
- The Clever Commute portable e-scooter is designed for a single rider. It’s foldable, lightweight, and targets urban commuters who get on and off public transport.
Electric Vehicle for Urban Areas
Conventional automobiles have wreaked havoc on urban areas when it comes to congestion. So-called mini cars like the ‘City Transformer’ electric vehicles are a growing trend and a climate-friendly solution that would accommodate the needs of many drivers.
- Single-person vehicles capable of reaching a top speed of 55mph.
- Provide up to 112-miles of range per charge.
- Quick charging times as well, up to 80% in just half an hour.
- Helps people maintain mobility without having to dedicate as much space and cost as a traditional car.
Pop-Up Solar-Powered Campers
Another expanding trend in the eco-friendly car world is the use of solar power. In conjunction with people wanting to spend more time in nature, it’s no wonder that solar-powered campers are on the rise.
- Allows owners to set up shop no matter where they land.
- The camper features a completely self-sustainable design that is outfitted with generous living space on the inside.
- A pop-up sleeping section provides a solar panel system that expands to capture the sun’s energy all day.
Three-Wheeled Transporter for the City
A clean transport electric transporter concept for carrying goods around urban areas, this scooter-like vehicle is the future of sustainably transporting small goods in the city. The compact size of the electric cargo sled makes it just for driving in most bike lanes.
- Multi-functional electric cargo board with three wheels.
- Frame made from fully recycled aluminum.
- An alternative solution to trucks and vans.
- Can tote 400 pounds of cargo.
- Slim profile designed to fit bike lanes, measuring just 30 inches across.
Vehicles that are even more connected are a big auto trend in 2022.
- A connected car refers to a vehicle that connects to the internet and shares internet access with different devices.
- These include devices inside and outside the vehicle.
- Connectivity has many benefits, integrating with tablets, smartphones, and other services.
- Developers are consistently using AI to improve connectivity. Due to this, vehicles will have more advanced features from emergency braking to entertainment functions and cyber security protection.
BONUS: Research Yacht Runs Entirely on Nuclear Power
Bet you’ve never imagined something like this! Needless to say, this would be a green trend would love to see expand in the coming years. The Earth 300 superyacht concept is an ultra-modern vessel that bears a futuristic form and function on the ocean that would provide researchers with a way to better understand our environment and climate change.
- Would run entirely on nuclear energy to maintain an emissions-free functionality.
- Science sphere placed right in the middle of the vessel, displaying a staggering height of 13 stories.
- Outfitted with 22 laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment.
- An extended observation deck with space for up to 160 scientists, 164 crew members, and 40 guests.
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