Volvo Car Corporation has entered into a partnership to study whether a young family can reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 85 per cent, simply by switching to a more sustainable lifestyle – living in a sustainable house, using 'clean' energy and driving an electric car.
The partnership is made up of three Swedish companies – Volvo Car Corporation, energy-efficient housing experts A-hus and energy provider Vattenfall. The 'One Tonne Life' project aims to show that armed with the right technology and 'know how' households can cut their carbon footprint from today's global average of seven tonnes per person per year to a more sustainable one tonne per person per year.
"One Tonne Life will demonstrate in concrete terms what it means for a family to live with a small 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 Torbjörn 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 added.
A family will soon be recruited for the six-month long project where they will live in an A-hus home, designed by architect Gert Wingårdh, and drive a Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric Vehicle. Chalmers University of Technology will also take part in the project to evaluate the family's carbon emissions and to assess how user-friendly the new sustainable technologies employed in the home actually are in day-to-day life.
The house will feature a cutting-edge, energy efficient design to ensure the home stays warm in winter and cool in summer and will also feature the latest in ventilation and solar cell technology. The home will be powered by 'clean' energy from Vattenfall and will employ new technology to measure the family's energy consumption in real time.
In the driveway will be the family's Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric vehicle, which operates quietly, emits no carbon dioxide at all and is recharged using renewable electricity from Vattenfall. It will offer the same safety, comfort and interior space as the standard car but, unlike a conventional petrol or diesel powered vehicle, it will be powered solely by electricity.
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.
"We will draw immense benefit from the project in our on-going development of electric cars. Here we are getting 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," says Paul Gustavsson, manager of electrification strategy at Volvo Cars.
The Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric is powered by a lithium-ion battery that is recharged via a regular wall socket. A full charge takes about eight hours and provides a range of up to 150 kilometres.
The house is currently being constructed in Hässelby Villastad in Western Stockholm. The successful family will move into the home early in 2011.
For further information visit www.onetonnelife.com