Road transportation faces multiple energy and environmental challenges. Although not solved, the situation is somehow improving and accelerating the transition to new technologies is central (although not sufficient). Car Organ Transplant (COT) is explored here as a complementary alternative to conventional technological turnover of fleets by which potential benefits are delayed as obsolete technologies continue to pollute at preceding levels. COT corresponds to replacing obsolete powertrain and ancillary equipments with cleaner technologies. Consequently, car‟s service time is extended with upgraded and fully-functional technologies. We analyzed lifecycle environmental and economic benefits of COT by comparing different car- ownership approaches over 20 years: keeping car, buying new car, buying remarketed-car; buying transplanted-car or transplanting own car. We concluded that COT is potentially attractive for owners while improving energy and environmental performance of automobility. Additionally, we estimated the pervasiveness of COT in the Portuguese car fleet and corresponding impacts. We concluded that COT potentially yields significant energy and environmental benefits for society. Barriers and implications of COT for the automotive industry were identified. Importantly, increased standardization, modularity-in-design and modularity-in-production are necessary. Lastly, new relationships between carmakers and customers may arise like „evolutionary-car-selling‟ by which planned COT over time would be bundled to car purchasing.
Instituto Superior Técnico, Technical University of Lisbon
José Manuel Viegas