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Total Carbon Footprint

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Where can I find a comprehensive study that compares total carbon footprints of car models including maufacturing and materials, not just mileage?

post #2 of 4


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by captaint View Post

 

Where can I find a comprehensive study that compares total carbon footprints of car models including maufacturing and materials, not just mileage?


 

Hmm the closest thing I've seen is a study debunking the myth that the Hummer does less environmental damage than the Prius.  Though obviously that study only focuses on those 2 models.

 

However, as the study notes (pages 4-5), 80-90% of a car's lifetime energy use comes during the operational phase, versus only 5-10% each for construction and disposal.  In other words, the fuel efficiency of a car really is the determining factor in its overall carbon footprint.

 

For example, say Car X requires twice as much energy to build but gets 10% better mileage than Car Y.  The overall footprint of Car X in this rather unrealistic scenario (one car isn't going to require twice the energy to build as another) is likely smaller than Car Y.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981 View Post

 


 


 

Hmm the closest thing I've seen is a study debunking the myth that the Hummer does less environmental damage than the Prius.  Though obviously that study only focuses on those 2 models.

 

However, as the study notes (pages 4-5), 80-90% of a car's lifetime energy use comes during the operational phase, versus only 5-10% each for construction and disposal.  In other words, the fuel efficiency of a car really is the determining factor in its overall carbon footprint.

 

For example, say Car X requires twice as much energy to build but gets 10% better mileage than Car Y.  The overall footprint of Car X in this rather unrealistic scenario (one car isn't going to require twice the energy to build as another) is likely smaller than Car Y.

I remember that study and the corresponding debunking, as well.  I was reminded of it on my way in this morning when listening to an AM radio program and they were discussing earth hour.  You can imagine the types of calls that were coming in.  One person said a recent study was done in Wales comparing overall carbon footprints of every model of car (somehow I doubt cars like the Tesla makes were included).  The ranking had the Prius down at 31.  The top car was something luicrous - I can't recall it now.  I did several Google searches but found no results.
 

post #4 of 4

Now that you mention it, I do remember reading an article about a similar (Swiss) study which put the Prius at #1.

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