Convenience and efficiency drive the automobile industry; thus, car manufacturers first deliver new cars to dealerships to provide easier access to consumers. New vehicles are either locally assembled or imported from Europe and Asia. The most common transport methods to dealerships include; trucks, ships, and railroad. Automobiles are the biggest air pollutants in the U.S, producing half of all nitrogen oxides in the air, contributing to global warming. Trucks burn more fuels as they are typically heavier and less aerodynamic than small cars contributing to environmental pollution (González, Marrero, Rodríguez-López, and Marrero, 2019). Sulfur dioxide is a significant cause of air pollution, to which maritime transportation is a major contributor. The traditional heavy fuel oil (HFO) used for ship engines has a high Sulphur content. Sulfur dioxide reacts with the atmosphere to form second particulate matter, which leads to acid rain. Acid rain causes ocean acidification which leads to loss of biodiversity and deforestation.
Individual choices regarding cars can either contribute to or reduce one’s environmental footprint. Consumer preference for gasoline-powered cars over diesel cars has led to increased environmental pollution. Gasoline-powered cars emit more carbon dioxide in the environment and are less fuel-efficient, diminishing environmental sustainability (González, Marrero, Rodríguez-López, and Marrero, 2019). The choice of special utility vehicles over small cars also leads to increased pollution as they use more gas and create more pollution. The standard behavior of driving oneself to work leads to many vehicles on the road leading to traffic. Cars emit more air pollutants in traffic congestion than in freeway speed.
The community has the mandate of reducing automobile’s impact on the environment. This can be achieved through; carpooling or shift to public transport, telecommuting and shift to electric cars (The United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2017). Carpooling and using public transport reduce traffic congestion as fewer cars are on roads, thus reducing direct emissions from the tailpipe. Additionally, telecommuting significantly reduces the number of vehicles on roads as it restricts employee movements, thus reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, consumers have become more environmentally conscious regarding conventional gasoline-powered cars, a phenomenon that has led to the urgency in developing electric cars. Electric cars use an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine, thus produce zero direct emissions.