The Zerofy blog

Tips and tools for a zero carbon lifestyle.

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Backup power for grid outages! The Ford F150 Lightning is our EV of the month for September 2022

There are two reasons we chose this month’s EV of the month. First, with the energy crisis in Europe unfolding, grid stability is on everyone’s mind. Here, EVs with backup power functionality (V2G, vehicle to grid, or V2H, vehicle-to-home) can play an important role in stabilizing the grid. Secondly, while we covered EVs of all sizes and forms, we have not yet had a pickup truck as our EV of the month. So, without further ado, the Ford F150 Lightning: a truck with great V2H support.

30 Sep 2022

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Zero carbon living: what would it cost today?

In order to avoid the most significant impacts from climate change, warming has to be limited to 1.5°-2° Celsius. This could be achieved by decarbonising all human activities, including transport, energy, and food. It requires widespread cooperation to reach zero emissions globally, including the public sector, businesses, but also households. In fact, households are indirectly responsible for about 70% of global emissions.
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Two new features for tracking your electricity consumption and its carbon emissions with Zerofy

More than a third of carbon emissions of a typical European household are related to home energy consumption (e.g. 36% for Germany). Approximately a quarter of this energy consumption is electricity for lighting, appliances, etc. The share of electricity in the total household energy consumption will further increase, as space and hot water heating are electrified through the use of heat pumps instead of fossil fuels.
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How green is your electricity? An introduction to carbon intensity

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few months, you’ve certainly heard about the expected critical gas and electricity supply situation in Europe towards the winter. Driven by Russia’s reduction of gas deliveries to Europe, the French Nuclear plants struggling with planned and unplanned maintenance, and particularly hot and dry summer, energy prices across Europe have been skyrocketing. These recent developments come on top of an already ongoing transition of our electricity and energy systems to achieve lower CO2 emissions.
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How much electricity does a solar panel produce? A summary of key facts for solar

Electricity produced from solar panels is an essential part of decarbonisation of our electricity and energy system. In contrast to traditional electricity supply, where electricity is produced centrally and households merely consume, they can now become producers of energy by installing solar panels. With this, households can gain autarky, protect against high electricity prices, and help decarbonize our electricity system.
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Building an automated and holistic carbon tracking app for households

At Zerofy our goal is to simplify a low-carbon (and ultimately zero-carbon) lifestyle. Measuring and understanding where emissions in one’s life or household come from is the first step before identifying the big levers to take action. In this article, we describe our technical and design approach toward automated and real-time household carbon emissions tracking.
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Does electric car sharing work? A real-life test.

Shared mobility concepts promise that they reduce the number of vehicles on the road, which is expected to have a positive impact both on the emissions from the production of vehicles, and also less space required for parking lots. While scooters and bikes are hoped to reduce the kilometers driven by cars overall, car sharing would mainly lead to more efficient usage of a smaller fleet of vehicles. If the fleet is electric, emissions from driving would also be reduced significantly.
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kWh vs. kW: what's the difference?

With an energy crisis in Europe simultaneous to the transition to a green energy system, energy is truly the topic of the hour. States and consumers alike, are hence urgently looking to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. When looking into the solutions (electric vehicles, solar, heating with a heat pump, or energy saving), you will sooner or later encounter the units kWh (kilowatt-hour) and kW (kilowatt). However, often these units are confused. Let’s clarify!
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The BMW i3, i4, and iX are our EVs of the month in July

For July we have not just a single EV of the month, not even a duo, but a trio of cars! The BMW i3, the BMW i4, and the BMW iX. BMW is an interesting case when it comes to the transition from combustion engines to electric drivetrains. As we’ll show below, BMW in 2013 was a pioneer with the introduction of the i3, but then fell behind and kept lobbying for the combustion engine instead of embracing change.
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Our EV of the month in June: Kia EV6

Last month’s EV of the month, the Nissan Leaf, was European car of the year back in 2011. This month we will have a closer look at the electric car that won the title this year, more than a decade later: the European car of the year 2022 is the Kia EV6. Reason enough to make it our EV of the month.
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Mercedes EQS is our EV of the month for April 2022

Last month our EV of the month was a modern, electric van for Hippies or families. This month we’re addressing a whole other segment: luxury limousines. The idea for this post came about while reading that the Dutch parliament postponed electrification of their fleet, at least partially due to “lack of comfort” when it comes to available EV options.
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Typical household CO2 emissions and their breakdown into spending categories

Chances are that you have come across one of the countless available CO2 footprint calculators: you may also have noticed that they typically estimate carbon footprint on the basis of an individual (or “per capita”). And many statistics report per capita metrics, too. However, the majority of people live in a household of two or more persons, where some resources such as housing (including electricity, heating, etc.), cars (and often even meals) are shared. This means for many of us the “household” is really the relevant unit when it comes to understanding CO2 emissions.
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The VW ID.Buzz is our EV of the month for March 2022

The VW ID.Buzz is likely one of the most anticipated EVs for the year 2022. Ever since the first concept was published, the final design and specs have been eagerly awaited. The reasons for the excitement are manifold.
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Three great commuter ebikes for 2022

Commuting by bike allows for combining some exercise and fresh air with the daily necessity of the commute. E-bikes can be particularly useful compared to regular bikes, as they enable commuters to travel further distances, travel faster and help avoid arriving at work exhausted and sweaty. Recent research has also shown that e-bike ownership correlates with a reduction of car usage and public transport usage (albeit no effect on car ownership could be measured). Reducing (ICE) car usage has a direct benefit of burning less oil and with that reducing CO2 emissions.
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Is it more environmentally friendly to keep driving an old Diesel or to buy a new electric car?

What’s more environmentally friendly: keep driving an old car running on diesel/gasoline, or buying a new EV? A new EV consumes resources and emits CO2 for its production, but it has much lower CO2 emissions during driving. An old Diesel already has “amortized” its production energy and emissions, but it continues burning fossil fuels and emitting greenhouse gasses.
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Four spacious electric vehicles to look forward to in 2021

2020 has seen significant growth in sales of battery-electric vehicles. A wider range of models has become available at increasingly competitive prices. All the while, charging networks are rapidly improving, which mitigates range anxiety. In 2021 we expect various exciting models in the crossover and SUV space. Some of them will be particularly popular with families, closing an important gap in this market. This post introduces 4 of next year’s models.
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Opportunities in zero-emissions transportation

With about 11% of the total, transportation is one of the key contributors to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In some regions, the share of the total is even larger. For example in the Euro area it is around 15% (see chart below), and in Switzerland transportation is responsible for even more than 30% of the total GHG emissions.
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An amazing future - climate action as an opportunity

As we enter the new decade, looking back climate change is probably the dominating topic of 2019. And rightfully so: a sense of urgency and swift action are needed! However, when it comes to the discussion around efforts to decrease the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, my concern is, that too much emphasis is put on the challenges. Instead, we should focus on the opportunities!