Are electric cars more eco-friendly? – myclimate presents its new car calculator

myclimate gives its customers the opportunity to calculate the climatic effects of various activities and to offset them through myclimate carbon offset projects, via its own website at co2.myclimate.org. Using existing emissions data and with the addition of further drive technologies and fuels, myclimate has now brought its new calculator for car journeys right up to date. The newly included category for electric cars now shows the lowest figures. The calculator for cruises has also been updated.

Using the latest studies and data, myclimate’s team of environmental impact specialists in Zurich and Berlin have revised the free, easily accessible web calculator for car journeys and cruises. The car calculator shows the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle over a given distance travelled. This service is experiencing growing demand. Use of the myclimate car calculator grew by around 150% in 2019. After the calculator for flight emissions, the car calculator is the second most frequently used calculation tool on the co2.myclimate.org website.

 

Changes

In the case of the car emissions calculator, the general fuel consumption data have been thoroughly updated on the basis of the ecoinvent database and new mobility statistics. Now it is also possible to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of electric cars, hybrids and plug-in hybrids, and of fuels such as ethanol, natural gas and biodiesel. The results also include all the emissions from the manufacture through to the disposal of the vehicle. This means that in the electric vehicle category, the CO2 emissions that are attributable to the battery are also included. Furthermore, the upstream emissions of the fuels or the electricity are also included in the calculation. The infrastructure-related emissions – caused by the use of the roads, for example – round off the results.

“With our updated car calculator it is our intention to provide a calculation tool that is easy to use, covering all current drive technologies and providing reliable results according to the latest climate research findings”, says Andy Eigenmann, Project Manager Consulting and Solutions, who designed the calculation basis for the new car calculator.  


Link to the basis for calculations of the myclimate car calculator

 

New Cruise Calculator

The cruise calculator has also been revised. It indicates the direct and indirect emissions per passenger for a set cruise duration, both while at sea and in port. The calculations are based on scientific publications and international statistics from a wide range of cruise lines and cruise operators, relating to capacities, degree of capacity utilised, vessel size and cabin types. In addition to fuel-related emissions, the current version also takes into account data relating to the ship’s manufacture, maintenance, disposal, emissions in port, catering, cleaning, port infrastructure and the refrigerants used.

Link to the basis for the calculations of the myclimate cruise calculator

The two current calculator projects were conceived at myclimate by the “Consulting & Solutions” team under the leadership of Martin Lehmann. Andy Eigenmann was responsible for developing the calculation basis for the car calculator, Daniel Berking and Dimitrios Stamatelatos for developing the calculation basis for the cruise calculator. The “Web Development” team, made up of Maren Heltsche, Urs Kleinert and Ewald König under the leadership of Julien Floris, implemented the programming element of the project.

 

Impacts

The myclimate car calculator shows that electric cars cause significantly fewer harmful greenhouse emissions than vehicles powered by conventional fossil fuels. However, the source of the electricity plays an important role in this. Covering 10,000 kilometres per year and with a fuel consumption of 17 kWh/100 km, an electric car causes 725 kg of CO2 emissions when it is charged using certified green electricity. However, if the source is the regular German mix of electricity with its rather high proportion of fossil energy, the result is more than twice as high at 1.7 tonnes.

Even so, the electric car still “wins” in comparison to a diesel with an average fuel consumption of 8 litres per 100 kilometres. The diesel vehicle causes 3.7 tonnes of CO2. A car fuelled by biodiesel has a slightly smaller carbon footprint, causing 3.1 tonnes of CO2 per 10,000 kilometres. A car of a similar size powered by biogas, such as a VW Golf blue.motion, causes 2 tonnes of CO2 emissions over the same distance.

These and more calculations can be carried out with the myclimate car calculator, with just a few clicks and entries.  

 

 

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