Saturday, July 1, 2017

93.4 Miles Per Gallon and How I Turned My Gas Consumption Into a Carbon Neutral Experience

My milage reader the day I turned in my electric hybrid.
As I reported elsewhere on this blog, I leased an electric hybrid, a Ford Fusion Energi, just over three years ago. Recently I turned it into the dealership and I wanted to report on its overall effectiveness in reducing gas consumption here.

First of all, a bit about the infrastructure of charging the car. I get many questions about this issue from friends who wonder whether or not an electric car is worth the trouble. We have free electric charging stations where I work at Hofstra University and I also charge at home. The charge is enough that I am able to get too and from work without using any gasoline unless I need to accelerate rapidly. I tend to use gas if I make a bunch of shopping side trips, if we take the car into New York City from our home on Long Island, or if we make longer trips to places like upstate New York, Cape Cod, or the East End of Long Island. It takes just a few hours to charge the car. I haven't noticed any change in my electric bill at all.

Over the 38 month lease, I averaged 93.4 miles per gallon and drove 30,380 miles. This means that I used 325 gallons of gas over those 38 months for an average of about 8.5 gallons per month. The Ford Fusion Energi has a gas tank of 14 gallons. As a result, I needed to get gas about every month and a half. 

About 20 pounds of carbon dioxide are produced from a gallon of gas. Over the 38 months, I produced 6,500 pounds of carbon dioxide from burning gasoline. In order to offset this carbon, I purchased 7000 pounds of carbon offsets from Terrapass (not an endorsement, but it is a very user friendly site) for $35. Terrapass sells carbon offsets for $5 for 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide. You can poke around their Website to find out how they offset carbon, but basically, they are pooling funds like mine to invest in green energy and carbon offset projects. One project turns methane from manure at a dairy farm in Wisconsin into green energy. If you don't have an electric car, you can still offset your carbon emissions pretty easily by purchasing carbon credits.

I liked the electric hybrid so much, I decided to lease another Ford Fusion Energi. It fits my driving habits on Long Island quite nicely. In fact, I believe that due to the unique nature of Long Island's geography, it is the perfect place to use an electric car. 

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