A quick calculation this morning estimated that we have reduced our carbon footprint by 2717 kilograms (~5977 lbs.) of carbon since replacing one of our automobiles in early December 2019. Had it not been for various COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, that number would have been higher.
Since we purchased our plug-in hybrid Prius Prime we have averaged 1.4 litres of gasoline per 100 kilometres. That equals about 168 miles per US gallon, or 201.7 miles per Imperial gallon.
The reduction in emissions of 2717 kilograms of carbon would be equal to the amount that 124 to 193 mature trees would remove from the environment in a calendar year, depending on species.
Obviously the choice of vehicle that each of us makes is a very personal decision based on a wide range of factors. My wife and I decided on going the plug-in hybrid route as we felt it was the best overall decision for us in terms of emissions reduction, cost, and functionality. When it comes time to replace our other vehicle we will be going fully electric. That probably won’t happen for a while as we only replace vehicles when needed… usually about every 15 years or so.
Our Prius Prime is rated for 40 kilometres (~24.9 miles) of range when driven in electric mode. That may not sound like very much, but most days it is well within the distance we would travel. Range does vary based on weather conditions and driving style. During the winter when using in-cab heating our range drops to about 36 kilometres (~22.4 miles). The best we have done in warmer seasons was 65.5 kilometres (~40.7 miles) on a single electric charge. That was in the spring when we didn’t need to use air conditioning. Typical range in the summer is about 55 kilometres (~34.2 miles) per electric charge.
When using a standard 120 volt household outlet it takes about 5 hours and 20 minutes to fully charge our plug-in hybrid from empty. Based on current local electricity rates it costs us less than a dollar per charge.
If you have an interest in calculating how much carbon your gasoline powered vehicle is adding to the environment, each litre burned equals about 2.3 kilograms, or just over 5 lbs. of carbon. That’s about 19.6 lbs. per US gallon of gasoline. An Imperial gallon would be about 20% higher. So, even a relatively modest change like going to a plug-in hybrid, or hybrid vehicle can make a significant difference in carbon emissions.
Here in the Niagara peninsula we consume mainly hydro electric and wind turbine power so our carbon impacts are somewhat easier to calculate.
If you happen to be a climate change denier, don’t bother posting a comment about this article. It won’t be allowed since we don’t support the spread of baseless and harmful conspiracy theories.
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear and technology as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.
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