Frequently asked questions

What is CO2eq/Kwh and what does it mean?

EV Carbon Tracker uses the life cycle CO2 equivalent to define each energy source global warming potencial. These have been defined in the IPCC 2014 and take into account infrastructure and supply chain emissions. The report is available in this PDF.

This means that clean renewable sources of energy have emissions simply because of manufacturing and maintenance emissions, but their direct emissions are actually zero.

If the same formula was applied to fossil cars their emissions per kilometer would almost double if we were to take into account the process of exploration, transport and refining petrol.

Why are the fossil fueled car emissions higher than the ones given by the manufacturer?

For the same reason CO2eq/km is used for EV emissions, CO2eq/km is used for fossil cars. This means not only tailpipe emissions are taken into account but also an approximation in refining and distribution as defined in the IPCC 2014.

These are approximate values by default. Oil companies don't have these numbers available for consulting and it's hard to account for the emissions manufacturing oil platforms, oil tankers, fuel used by those oil tankers to transport, refinery power and oil usage and fuel used transporting the refined fuel to the fuel stations. Plus the emissions dismantling oil platforms and tankers.

Why does Solar and Wind have emissions?

Since CO2eq/Kwh is used, it takes into account the manufacturing and installation emissions. This means that Wind has an emission value of 11g CO2eq/Kwh and Solar 48g CO2eq/Kwh, but their direct emissions are actually zero.

Why is Hydro Storage shown separated from Hydro

Hydro aggregates run of the river and reservoir dams. The emissions are the same for Hydro Storage but it makes sense to show it separately. One of the arguments against renewable energy is that we won't have enough electricity to power electric cars when there's no sun or wind.

Hydro storage acts as a huge battery, pumping water from one reservoir to the other producing energy when other renewable sources are low, and does the opposite at night or whenever the renewable energy production (usually wind or solar) is high, saving that energy for later.

Check these videos on YouTube by Tom Scott and Practical Engineering to learn more about hydro pumped storage.

What is the "Other" energy type?

No idea! EV Carbon tracker uses data from multiple sources and sometimes some types of energy are set as "Other". These can be everything, from fossil co-generation to trash incineration. Data from the previous year average emissions is used to calculate the emissions from this energy "type". It's not perfect.

What is the energy forecast and how can I use it?

In some countries the local grid data can include the forecast for Wind and Solar production in the next hours. EV Carbon Tracker uses that data when available and shows you the current solar and wind production and the forecast for the next hours. If the value is higher you can save on emissions by charging your car later, of in the opposite case, charging now to save on emissions.

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