Innovation That Matters

App assesses climate change contributions per car


Consumers looking to buy a new car can now use MIT’s newest app, CarbonCounter, to check the carbon footprints of 125 cars currently on the road.

The number of renewable transport options is growing, with new ride sharing services using electric smart scooters and solar-powered cars using moss to filter air. Helping consumers make sense of their options, and more informed choices when buying a new vehicle, is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) CarbonCounter app. The CarbonCounter app compares the lifetime costs of 125 of the most popular vehicles currently on the road.

Developed by scientists in MIT’s Trancik Lab, the app uses the average costs of gasoline and electricity in USD from 2004 to 2013. And when full carbon costs of each vehicle, including production and maintenance, are added up, the results could surprise consumers. Many models of electric and hybrid cars already meet 2030 carbon emissions targets, and many low-emissions vehicles are less expensive than gasoline-powered ones.

How could other types of transport could benefit from a similar type of environmental footprint analysis?



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