Volvo Car Corporation has entered into a
partnership to test whether a typical family can cut their carbon
footprint by more than 85% by switching to more sustainable housing,
transport and energy solutions.
‘One Tonne Life’ is a joint project involving three Swedish companies –
house builder A-hus, energy supplier Vattenfall and Volvo Cars. It aims
to show how households can cut their CO2 consumption from
today’s global average rate of seven tonnes per person per year, to a
more sustainable one tonne per person per year – the figure experts
believe will minimise the human impact on long-term climate change.
The project will ‘recruit’ an ordinary
Swedish family to live in an energy-efficient A-hus house and drive the
electric C30 for six-months. Meanwhile experts from Chalmers University
of Technology will track their energy usage to see how the new
technology changes their habits and improves energy efficiency.
The house will feature state-of-the-art
insulation and ventilation systems, plus solar power for hot water,
heating and electric appliances. Meanwhile, energy supplier Vattenfall
will contribute new technology to measure the family’s electricity
consumption in real time.
The family’s Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric
will, meanwhile, offer the same safety, comfort and interior space as a
conventional petrol or diesel car, but emit no CO2 at all as
it is charged using renewable electricity. Powered by a lithium-ion
battery that is recharged via a regular wall socket, a full charge takes
about eight hours and gives a range of up to 90 miles.
Participation in the ‘One Tonne Life’
project gives Volvo Cars the opportunity to study how the electric car
fits in with a modern family’s lifestyle.
Paul Gustavsson, manager of
electrification strategy at Volvo Cars, said: “We will draw immense
benefit from the project in our on-going development of electric cars.
We will get clear information about what we need to deliver so that
buyers feel that a battery-powered car is attractive and cost-effective
to drive and own.”
“One Tonne Life will demonstrate in
concrete terms what it means for a family to live with a far smaller
carbon dioxide footprint. With the right know-how, the right technology
and a consistent attitude, we believe it is possible to approach the
one-tonne target already today – and without making any major sacrifices
to one’s regular lifestyle,” says Torbjorn Wahlborg, Managing Director
of energy provider Vattenfall Nordic Region.
“Much of the technology and the
solutions we are giving the family are already available to the public
or will be in the very near future. So in other words, this is no
far-fetched science-fiction project but rather utilisation of what is
ready, here and now,” he concluded.
The house is currently being
constructed in Hasselby Villastad in the western parts of Stockholm and
the hunt has begun for a family to move in from early 2011.
For more information about the
challenge, visit the website at: