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It is fairly known that switching from petrol or diesel to electric vehicles saves tons of CO2 and that this is one of the key reasons for the growth of electromobility. However, quantifying the extent to which CO2 emissions are avoided is an exercise that, although clearly valuable for environmental awareness, is often more difficult to do. At Circontrol we have done a thought experiment to find out how much CO2 would someone save in 2023 by using one of our best-selling chargers, the eNext, which we have distributed in 65 countries around the world. It is a charger with several smart features and was mainly created for home charging, the context where most of the charging for an electric vehicle occurs. This makes it the perfect example to demonstrate the ecological potential of a year-long switch to electric vehicles.


Consumption, the determining factor

First and foremost, the consumption and emissions resulting from using the vehicle must be considered as a fundamental factor. Combustion vehicles generate direct CO2 emissions as a result of their operation, while electric vehicles do not emit CO2 or, in any case, only generate indirect emissions. Therefore, the higher the consumption and use of the vehicle, the higher the CO2 emissions saved. The way of driving has a great influence on the generation of emissions, but it is also highly variable, so it is virtually impossible to say what the actual emissions of a vehicle are over the course of a year. However, one way to make a good estimate is to calculate the average annual kilometres driven by that vehicle. This makes it possible to estimate an approximate average consumption and, therefore, to establish an average greenhouse gases saving for non-combustion vehicles such as the electric ones.

In this sense, we have taken as a benchmark a vehicle (whether combustion or electric) that travels around 12.500 km in a year. In the case of a combustion vehicle, according to data from the 2017 IEA (International Energy Agency) study “Fuel Economy in Major Car Markets“, a car uses around 0.072 l/km (7’2 per 100 km), which means 900 litres of fuel over a year. On the other hand, the average consumption of electric vehicles currently present on the market is around 0.2 kWh per km driven according to the Electric Vehicle Database website, which result in an annual consumption of around 2.500 kWh, that are delivered with each of our eNext over the course of a whole year. The simple quantification of the litres of fuel already gives us a first impression of the amount of CO2 expelled from exhaust pipes.


ICE vehicles emit tonnes CO2 over their yearly performance

ICE vehicles emit tonnes CO2 over their yearly performance

Tens of thousands of CO2 tons saved

However, these figures do not fully answer the question of how much pollution is saved by switching to electric vehicles, because the main question remains unanswered: how can the CO2 savings be estimated? Although, as we say, consumption is key to the answer, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a formula to calculate the tonnes of CO2 per distance travelled. Thanks to this study, we can know how much greenhouse emissions are generated on average by a combustion passenger car (including vans, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles and small cars). The resulting formula implies a cost of 4’03 x 10-4 metric tonnes of CO2eq (carbon dioxide equivalent) per mile; if we translate this into kilometres, the formula results in 2’51 x 10-4 metric tonnes of CO2eq per kilometre.

Applying this formula to the estimated 12.500 km of average vehicle travel per year, each of our eNext chargers will have saved around 3’1375 metric tonnes (3.137 kg) of CO2 and other greenhouse gas equivalents to the atmosphere by the end of the year. But let’s put this into perspective: if we multiply this by the 15.000 eNext chargers that Circontrol has sold exclusively for home charging use (an estimated total annual range of 190.000.000 km), all domestic eNext users in 2023 will have saved a whopping 47.000 metric tonnes (0’047Mt, or 47 million kgs) of CO2 and other greenhouse gas equivalents to the atmosphere. This is not a trivial figure: it is equivalent to some 47.700 passengers flying back and forth between London and New York (according to the non-profit organisation Atmosfair, which attributes 986kg for each passenger flying back and forth between the two cities) or about 9% of the total annual emissions of a small country like the Gambia.

To sum up, we see that, taken together, every driver’s debut into electromobility can make a significant difference to the environment, simply by switching from gas refuelling to charging our electric vehicle comfortably in our own home with devices such as one of Circontrol’s eNext. If you want to know more about how to electrify your 2023 with one of these chargers, you can do so here.

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