The need to design products for the energy transition

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“This is a challenge but also a great opportunity for European manufacturing”

“The manufacturing industry may not be a key consumer of energy but is the industry that’s going to make the new products that are the main consumers of energy, whether they are cars, planes, devices that you have in your home. Whatever may be the case, these are the items that are addressing the issue of energy. These are the energy consumers. And therefore new products need to be redesigned. Take the example of the car. The car for 100, 150 years was based on internal combustion engine. Now you’re talking about electric car… electric car is a different animal in terms of producing, you produce that differently than you used to produce the combustion vehicles. So this is an example of the challenges that manufacturing needs to address, in terms of product design and product manufacture.”

We can already see steps in this direction: The proposal for a Regulation on Ecodesign for Sustainable Products addresses product design, which determines up to 80% of a product’s lifecycle environmental impact. It sets new requirements to make products more durable, reliable, reusable, upgradable, reparable, easier to maintain, refurbish and recycle, and energy and resource efficient.