We at BetaPeak (https://betapeak.com) are a small team of dedicated developers with passion for side projects and positive social change. We're located in Bulgaria, which currently has the worst air quality in all of Europe, so this led us to think - we sure as hell are not the only ones with that problem, there must be thousands of cities around the globe that breathe dirty air, we definitely need to raise some awareness.
So in partnership with the awesome guys at Oblik Studio (http://oblik.works/), this led us to build Mission Emission, a tool to help you calculate your car emissions and get tips on how to travel more eco-friendly. Our bet is on simplicity, nice and clean UX and informative and beautiful results page, to help punch in the main idea - we need to ditch petrol/diesel cars!
We'd love to know what you love, what you hate, what you "meh" about the tool, and obviously we're ready to implement any cool ideas you may have on how to make this tool even cooler and more engaging.
Yes, that's easily confused with the imperial ton, but I think that's a less important problem.
Other than that, neat!
I am curious though, is the USA the only place that calls it 'gas'? I've lived and travelled through most places in Oceania, Asia and Europe and almost everywhere else it is called 'petrol' and places that serve it are called 'petrol stations'. To me 'gas' is an entirely separate product, viz LPG gas, which a lot of taxis etc. use at the moment.
Personally, I think "motor spirit" is a kickass name for it.
There is even a difference in miles if you want to be picky, with the US using statute miles in some states and international miles in other states. The international mile is 1.609344 km, and the statute mile is about 1.6093472 km. This isn't a huge difference.
Otherwise, a cool project! Hopefully it motivates someone to think about their travels and its impact on the environment.
Diesel, ‘van’ - Seat Alhambra.
Once I had provided my correct MPG (I get about 47MPG on long journeys in France) it suggested my 2016 Diesel produced less carbon than an electric vehicle.
Which doesn’t feel quite right.
Do you likewise take in to account the production process emissions for non-electric vehicles?
Does this factor in locale? Because electricity generation in NZ is 80% renewable, and if we take the US generation ratio (I think something like 20% renewable), it paints a very wrong picture.
If it does take into account locale, kudos!
Or is my '80% renewable' point naive? I think i get what you're saying, if I recharge during peak demand times, there's a chance nonrenewables are being used in higher proportions to fulfil my charge. Conversely if I charge during low-demand hours, the odds are higher that peak generation methods are not being employed.
But even more complicated than that, is the kind of renewables. NZ has a ton of hydro, and during certain times of the year they are drawn down for peak demand, so kinda ideal. Then again during times of drought, no can do and non-renewables may be the only thing that can meet demand.
If you're getting super fancy, NZ Transpower publishes live stats for the grid, including proportion of renewables in use at any one time! https://www.transpower.co.nz/power-system-live-data
But it gave the gas mileage as 18 mpg, while I get a measured 30 - 32mpg on my commute. Even when I had a golf, I was getting around 25 mpg.
btw, have O2 levels been dropping over last century?
But also, very cool. I would otherwise have no idea how the various modes compare.
I have a friend who works for the local power company. He told me that at off peak times, our power is almost entirely green. However, at peak times, they use dirty natural gas or coal peaker plants. Even though I don't have time-of-use metered power, I make sure to always charge in the middle of the night for this reason.
I really thought that an hybrid car was at least one order of magnitude more fuel efficient, but it's not the case.
I don't understand, because I thought buying a prius was an investment that you could repay in reduced gas bills, but apparently not so much.
Im quite happy to be able to live without a car.
Maybe you can partner with the folks over at https://www.electricitymap.org/ to improve the emissions data?
Then again, I just replaced it with an electric, so I guess I'm producing half the CO2. And am "100% solar" (for what that's worth), so... 0?
It's awkward having the MPG and overall CO2 emissions on separate folds of the screen. I shouldn't need to scroll around to access ~10 numbers.
Also the UK is weird, we use MPG for fuel economy but will measure CO2 emission in kg.
Your transit calculator misses the opportunity to suggest a combined bike+rail trip which is the most practical.
I am Hristiyan Dodov, Full-Stack Developer at Oblik Studio and developer of Mission Emission.
I wanted to clear a few things out and say my opinion about the project.
First of all, we're not chemists or scientists and we haven't worked with such either. We've done our best to do these calculations correctly, but there are just so many variables and giving more accurate results
demands more work, time, and information. Although the calculations are rough estimates, they are based on actual facts and research and are not some numbers we made up in our head. We would love to make things more accurate, but we need more support and data. Given that this is a non-profit project, it's a bit overwhelming.
For me, the goal of this project is to raise awareness about air pollution and make you think. Transportation plays a big role in air pollution, while it's an important part of everyone's life, making it easier for people to relate. We display an average estimate of emissions for your journey and then put the numbers in perspective with facts - for example, how much time is needed for a tree to absorb the generated CO2. The goal is to educate people as best as we can and perhaps even change their minds on transportation and make them think about using a greener transport. I don't think it matters how much exactly the air is getting polluted. The problem is that it's a lot, it's getting worse, and things doesn't seem to change. And that's our goal - to provoke a change.
Electric vehicle emissions:
Some people said that the app sometimes shows that electric vehicles produce more emissions than petrol/diesel vehicles. That's correct. Yes, the electricity itself doesn't directly generate emissions, but the way that electricity was created - probably does. Does it sound more eco-friendly to burn 40 kilos of coal to generate X amount of electricity and travel 10 kilometers, or burn 1 liter of petrol for that same distance? I made up those numbers in my head, but I think it illustrates my point nicely. Of course, this greatly varies with how each country or even city generates its electricity. That's also why it's so hard to provide accurate measurements and it's the reason we use average values. Basically, how green an electric car is depends on how the electricity it uses was generated.
The vehicle category determines the fuel consumption value. It's not 100% accurate because it's based on averages from various kinds of car makes and models. We didn't focus much on that because you can change the fuel consumption on the results page and make it match that of your own vehicle exactly. That's also the reason why we didn't include the exact make and model, load, speed, etc. All of these things come down to fuel consumption, which is the most important part of emissions after all. Instead of putting a ton of settings, we simply put a vehicle category to give a rough estimate and then gave you the ability to change the fuel consumption however you wish.
What a great example of technologists using the tools of the trade to do some good for air quality and on the climate fight.
Thanks, Yasen, Hristiyan and the rest of the crew involved.
FYI - I heard about this from James in the #news-discussion channel of the Slack group for ClimateAction.tech. Feel free to join us and introduce yourselves there (in #introductions) if you'd like to be part of an international network of technologists pushing for climate action.