Enough Carbon Dioxide To Fill 10 Houses

Last year my carbon emission saving has been enough to fill nearly 10 average UK houses running the Nissan Leaf.

2019 was a busy year for the Electric Instructor and being an EV owner has secured specific EV work, especially in the fleet sector where the switch to EVs is becoming a hot topic. So I thought I’d work out my carbon saving in terms of how many houses it would fill in the time I’ve owned the Leaf. It turned out to be quite a lot.

Nissan collect data from Leafs and owners can view this data in the Nissan app used to monitor and control the car. Looking at mine it showed I did 14,082.7 miles from February when I collected the car to December 2019. For some reason the app stopped recording data on the 4th December, that will need some investigation.

Average economy during this time was 0.24kWh/mile which means I’m getting 4.17 miles from each kW of electricity. A good average considering the wide range of learners and their driving styles that drive it.

The CO2 emission savings from the Nissan app are 3894kg, nearly 4 tons of CO2. I’ve always charged using green energy so there should be almost no CO2 creation anywhere in the car’s electricity supply. A quick search around found the volume of a ton of CO2 is 554 cubic metres. So the volume of the emissions not thrown into the atmosphere by my driving is:

3.894 X 545 m3 = 2,124 m3

Trying to visualise what over 2000 cubic metres of CO2 would look like if we could see it I wondered how many houses it would fill. The average size house built in the UK is 90m2 and ceiling height is 2.5m making the volume of the average house 225m3. How many houses would my non existent emissions fit into?

2,124/225 = 9.44 houses

Nearly 10 houses full of CO2, OK I left the roof space out as this seemed difficult to estimate an average for. Also the missing part of December’s figures in the app would make it nearer 10 for the year. It’s a lot of CO2 when you visualise it filling the living space of a house. Then think of all the cars you see every day and the amount of years we’ve been filling the atmosphere with carbon it’s surprising there’s room for any other gasses.

I am no scientist and my schoolboy maths might not be correct so please comment if you find flaws in my theory. However, the scale of carbon emissions that could be cut down with EV ownership is truly staggering.

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