I traded in our trusty Mercedez SUV for a Chevy Volt last August. Since then, our fuel costs have dropped 95% and our CO2 output is 82% less. And we get rock star parking.
Download and read the slide notes for additional information and calculations.
In August 2012, I traded in the Mercedez and leased a 2013 chevy volt.
The smartest vehicle on the road today
Volt is known as a plugin hybrid
Large battery + electric motor.
35 mile range on just the battery
Small gas engine that kicks in only when the battery is depleted.
To calculate the cost/day of fuel to drive our Mercedez ML 430 to work
Based on 20 mile commute each way: 40 miles daily.
40/15 mpg = 2.6 gallons of gas per day
2.6 * $3.95 = $10.17 / day
The carbon from the gasoline mixes with oxygen from the air. Gasoline consists mostly of hydrocarbons—chains of carbon encircled by atoms of hydrogen. When the hydrocarbons burn, they break apart and recombine with the air. This reaction produces heat, as well as two chemical byproducts: water and carbon dioxide.
My commute is 14 miles each way, so 28 miles / day.
The Volt’s electric range is 35 miles, so I get by on just electricity
If I need to drive further during the day, I charge up at the grocery store around the corner
Discount of 2.5 cents / KWh given by LADWP
Time of Use Metering is an additional discount, so I only charge up after 8pm at night
http://carma.org/company/detail/70989 (CO2 emissions by power plant locally)
http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-and-you/how-clean.html (look up your electricity by zip code)
659 lbs CO2 / MWh
.659 lbs CO2 / KWh
400 KWh / month = 263 lbs
If I purchase green power from LADWP or install solar panels on my house, I can drop this to 0 lbs of CO2 / month
Then the question of CO2 is just about the embodied cost of the materials in the car, and their eventual disposal
Global land-air temperature averages
400ppm is higher than it’s been for at least 800,000 years
350ppm is regarded as the safe limit before irreparable harm is done
Energy efficient. Electric vehicles convert about 59–62% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels—conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 17–21% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels.*