Toyota Switching to Biosynthetic Rubber
There are a lot of ways for an automaker to be green, and not all of them have to do with the amount of miles per gallon of gas a certain automobile manages to attain. In reality, truly green automakers look at the entire process of manufacturing cars when attempting to be as environmentally-friendly as they possible can be, from how much energy is used in the production process to what kinds of materials are used in the vehicles themselves. Toyota, for its part, cares deeply about the big green picture, which is why it recently announced plans to use biosynthetic rubber for its engine and drive system hoses starting in May.
If you’re wondering what biosynthetic rubber is and what it has to do with saving the environment, it really is pretty simple. First and foremost, the rubber is developed from plant-derived bio-materials rather than some sort of material made from chemicals and fossil fuels, which is significant because petroleum-based rubbers produce 20% more lifecycle carbon emissions than the new type of rubber. Think just how many Toyota automobiles are sold in Mobile each year, let alone the country, let alone the world; making even a small change on that scale could make for a massive drop in carbon emissions.
For now, though, this new technology won’t be applied to our broad range of discount tires, but it does sound like it will expand to fuel line hoses and break hoses next. There easily could be a day when some of the best truck tires in the industry find more ways to utilize the same technologies, but for now we’ll take this baby step as a significant one in the right direction for green manufacturing. Yes, Toyota vehicles sip gas rather than chug it, but these types of developments are what help them to be one of the greenest automakers in the industry.