Frequently Asked Questions
Which Carbon Offset Providers do you use?
At launch we are proud to partner with Forterra on these awesome projects. Forterra is a Pacific Northwest leader for regional sustainability, having conserved 250,000 acres and improved the quality of life for people in over 90 communities. We are actively recruiting parters to expand our network. We are reaching out to cities, non-profits, and private companies to identify high value projects that give Drive Zero customers a great bang for their offset buck - and as close to home as possible.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The average driver should expect a monthly cost of less than $20/month. Other device costs range widely based on the carbon intensity of electricity and home heating energy source. Drive Zero customers will be offered a range of project types to fit any budget.
Where do you get your numbers?
All vehicles, whether traditional gasoline, hybrid, or purely electric consume some carbon as part of their operation either at the tailpipe or at the power plant. Burning one gallon of gas creates 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. The average car travels 13,476 miles a year and emitting about six tons of carbon dioxide. You can calculate your carbon emissions based on your vehicle here.
Carbon offsets vary in price depending on the type, location, and co-benefits of the project. Tree planting is one of the most recognized and economical forms of carbon sequestration. To calculate the number of trees needed to offset a car's emissions one must determine a set of assumptions including: expected growth rate, survival factors, and lifespan. Read more here:
- EPA perspective
- American Forests
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station
What about my privacy?
At Drive Zero we are only concerned about a couple key pieces of diagnostic information related to calculating carbon emissions. Check with the manufacturer of a particular device to learn about their standards for sharing data through its API. We are implementing protocols so either less data is transferred in the first place, or that unnecessary data is promptly deleted.
It's kind of like a price on carbon?
That's one way to think of it, Economists across the world advocate placing a price on carbon as a market based solution to fight climate change. Carbon pricing reduces carbon emissions in three principal ways: 1) induces an elastic demand response by increasing the cost of gasoline, 2) improves the cost competitiveness of alternative energy sources, 3) generates new revenues for direct investment in technologies to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
To the frustration of some economists, drivers generally object to placing a price on carbon when it’s designed to coerce them into driving less. However, a poll by the University of Michigan's Center for Local, State and Urban Policy and Muhlenberg College's Institute of Public Opinion, suggests drivers are willing to pay more for their fuel if they had confidence that the money would be well spent on investments that reduce carbon. Overall 60% would back such a fee, including 51% of Republicans, 54% of Independents and 70% of Democrats. That's where Drive Zero comes in.
The first strategy to reduce carbon in the atmosphere is to do no further harm. That entails improving energy efficiency in the built environment, switching to cleaner fuels in transportation and power generation, and promoting less wasteful behavior. To preserve a livable planet for future generations, climate scientists argue that CO2 in the atmosphere must fall below 350 parts per million. The current level is 400 parts per million, meaning that solely preventing future emissions is not enough.
Carbon sequestration is a strategy to capture carbon in the atmosphere by leveraging the planet's natural filtering process. Just like your lungs, oceans and forests can breath, and when they do they convert atmospheric carbon into fuel for organic life. Planting trees and iron fertilized phytoplankton blooms turbo charge the planet’s ability to cycle carbon out of the atmosphere.
Despite the growing global pressure to lower carbon emissions, fossil fuels will continue to represent a sizeable share of the world’s energy portfolio for decades to come. Recognizing that technologies to prevent future emissions are not always 100% carbon neutral or cost effective, the practice of purchasing carbon offsets is a solution to shore up the planet's ability to combat climate change. A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for an emission made elsewhere. Offset projects such as planting trees, wind/solar installations, and methane capture at animal farms or landfills help individuals, companies, and governments reduce their carbon footprint.