The environmental effects of a car can be significantly improved by the development of material cycles and environmental design principles. This is illustrated by a number of activities in which Netherlands Car B.V. is involved.
In the dismantling study ‘Project Goes’ some 130 Volvo 440's were selectively dismantled. The results have served as a basis for a unique car recycling system in the Netherlands that is operational since 1995. A disposal levy is placed on the buyers of newly registered cars. The income is used for the payment of premiums to companies involved in the recycling of automobile materials which are not yet business-economically profitable.
‘NEUROBOT’ is a European project in which work is done together with a number of partners on the development and implementation of an autonomous robot system for the disassembly and recycling of automotive products. The system is based on neural network concepts and guided by multiple sensors. A demonstration unit has been set up.
The recently introduced Volvo S40 and V40 were developed with environment in mind right from the start. The environmental impact of components such as the dashboard was established through life cycle analyses. Together with the application of design for environment guidelines this has lead to an optimized car design. The excellent recyclability was verified in the dismantling plant of ECRIS (Environmental Car Recycling In Scandinavia).
ACCESS (Aluminium-based Concept of a CO2 Emissions Saving Sub-compact car) was designed by Netherlands Car B.V. taking into account the increasing pressure on the environment. The emission of pollutant gasses, fuel consumption and exterior noise were reduced by the development of a highly efficient, clean engine, smart electrical systems and a lightweight body and chassis. The environmental impacts resulting from ACCESS were determined in a life cycle analysis and put into perspective to existing car concepts.