The One Tonne Life project has ended and the content on this web page is static and is not updated any more. The project was unique and pioneering, making the conclusions and all information connected to the project just as interesting and up-to-date today as when it was run. Read more about the project and get inspired! (March 2017)

One Tonne Life

Tag: David Weiner

Happy New Model Year

It’s true. However strange it may sound, production is currently under way for model year 2013. Product development and production of cars are very complex issues. Not only do the cars have to function properly and offer good value for money, they also have to fit into the model range and enter the market at exactly the right time. That is why we here at Volvo (along with most other manufacturers) have a specific date for the new model year at the factory. We fix a date to avoid mixing together components and details that do not belong together. In Volvo’s case the model year changes in week 20. For car enthusiasts with a particular interest in the environment, there are several points of interest. Not least that Volvo has 19 new variants classified as environmentally optimised or “green” cars as per the table below.

What is entirely new is the T4F engine in the larger cars. The T4F is the synthesis of several years of product development and it is a powerful yet energy-efficient ethanol engine. What is more, DRIVe is back in the V70 and S80. Now with a start-stop function. Naturally the C30 Electric is also included this model year, with series production starting this summer.

All these models give the car owner 5 years of road tax exemption. What is more, some municipalities offer free parking for green cars. Buyers have to check this with their local authorities.

Finally I would like to mention that Volvo’s City Safety system is now standard on all S60, V60, V70, S70, XC60 and XC70 models. Naturally also on the green versions of these cars. City Safety is a system that monitors vehicles ahead in traffic queues and automatically brakes if the driver fails to do so. Read more about the new models on Volvo’s website:

Next week I will write about how things went at the first official drive in the V60 plug-in hybrid in Berlin at Michelin Bibendum.

David Weiner, Volvo

You get what you buy!

When I buy macaroni at my local ICA supermarket, I expect the package to contain just that – macaroni. Which it always does. Furthermore, if I buy “Krav” eco-labelled macaroni I don’t expect to find that it contains traces of pesticides. There’s nothing particularly strange about any of this.

So how about when it comes to electricity? This is something one can argue about without end, and it’s into this hornet’s nest that I’m now stepping. The fundamental question to ask is whether electricity is special or not as a product. Electricity should naturally be regarded as a product just like any other. That is why regulations governing the guarantee of origin of electricity were brought in on December 1, 2010 (2010:601).  Put simply, this means that the company producing the electricity has the right to issue a certificate of origin for all electricity produced using a particular type of source. This certificate can be sold on but must be annulled once it reaches the end-customer so that it is not counted several times over. The aim of this entire legislative package is to support the use of energy from renewable sources. In the EU there is a directive on this issue which in Sweden was dealt with in government bill 2009/10:128 “Implementation of the Directive on Renewable Energy”. For anyone particularly interested in legislation, statistical data and legal texts, I recommend that you read this document in its entirety. For everyone else, what it all boils down to is that you get what you buy. Just as with the macaroni that I started off talking about.

That’s why it’s particularly important to see to it that you have a good agreement for your electricity. That is how you can be sure you are getting electricity with a small CO2 footprint and that you can make a significant contribution to cutting your CO2 emissions. For instance, Vattenfall’s electricity from hydro-power produces 6 g of CO2/kWh. If you recharge your Volvo C30 Electric with electricity from hydro-power, this corresponds to less than 1 g of CO2/km. The green-car limit is 120 g of CO2/km and the Swedish average for 2010 was 152.3 g of CO2/km (source: JATO)

You are probably familiar with the issues of marginal electricity, electricity from Danish coal-fired power stations and so on. These issues are very complex and should naturally be taken into account. But not by the customer. Marginal electricity is something that should be dealt with by the decision-makers and the power industry.

As the customer, you always get what you buy. That’s the law.

David Weiner, Volvo

What can you do with 0.15 kWh of electricity?

I live in south-east Göteborg and commute to Volvo’s Torslanda plant every day. That makes a round trip of 40 km a day. A Volvo C30 Electric consumes 15 kWh of electricity per 100 km in mixed driving conditions, so if I had a C30 Electric I would use about 6 kWh of electricity per day (for the 40 km daily commute). For the same distance, a C30 DRIVe would use 3.8 litres of diesel per 100 km, which means 15 kWh of energy. In other words, more than twice as much energy. This is because an electric motor is far more efficient than an internal combustion engine.

But the question was what we can do with 0.15 kWh of electricity. Drive a Volvo C30 Electric a distance of 1 km, for instance. But it is of course possible to use that power for other things too. The table below offers a few examples by way of comparison.

There are naturally considerable variations between different household machines. This can be seen, for instance, in the Siemens products with which the house is equipped – they are particularly energy-efficient. What is important to demonstrate when we now start using electricity to power our cars, is that the energy that we use in the house is also used for the car. So by how much will our electricity bill increase when the car runs on electricity? If the car is driven 15,000 km/year, it will consume about 2250 kWh. This corresponds to an increase of 10% in the average Swedish villa (22,000 kWh according to the Swedish Energy Agency).

The following table presents an interesting comparison between different fuels. 1 km in the Volvo C30 Electric consumes 0.15 kWh. This corresponds in terms of energy content to:

However, internal combustion engines have a much lower efficiency rating, so to cover 1 km they will require more than twice as much of each fuel, depending on the type of engine fitted. The exact figures for Volvo’s car range can be found at

David Weiner, Volvo

Transport’s eco-footprint

There are few products that arouse as much emotion as cars. There are very few people who do not have feelings on the subject of our cars – and some people have very strong feelings indeed on the subject. It’s an unavoidable fact that we need some form of transport in today’s society. Here at Volvo Cars, we know that the car will continue to play an important role in our lives in the future. The exciting challenge facing us is to reduce the environmental footprint of our cars.

So what exactly is the car situation in Sweden? There are 4.3 million cars on the roads here. According to national statistics agency SCB, Sweden’s cars cover an average of 14,540 km a year. In 2010, almost 290,000 new cars took to the roads. Of these, 51 % were diesels and 40 % were green cars. The average CO2 figure for the full year is not available at the time of writing but for the first half of 2010, the nation’s cars produced average CO2 emissions of 154 g CO2/km. This corresponds to about 5.9 litres of diesel per 100 km or 6.7 litres of petrol per 100 km. Over the past three years a lot has happened regarding the energy-efficiency of cars. For new models, emissions of carbon dioxide have been cut by 15 %.

How does the Lindell family measure up in this respect? They have been running two cars whose fuel consumption is pretty much average, and they cover virtually the average Swedish annual mileage. Of each family member’s CO2 emissions of just over 7.2 tonnes per person and year, the two cars account for 14 % of the total. That’s all. And that figure includes manufacture of the cars and their fuel consumption.

That is why things will become particularly interesting now that the Lindells have a Volvo C30 Electric that produces no carbon dioxide at all from the tailpipe – because there is no tailpipe. When they recharge the car with renewable electricity, the car’s environmental footprint per km will be very low. The Lindells will also have access to a Volvo Green Car Drive pool vehicle when they need more than one car or when the go on a journey that is longer than the electric car’s operating range. We are going to precisely monitor the family’s CO2 footprint for all their transport needs. And of course production of the car itself is included in our calculations. I will talk more about this later, as well as the way the various transport alternatives perform against each other. This spring, we here at Volvo, the Lindell family and hopefully you, the reader, will all gain plenty of fresh new insights.

David Weiner, Volvo

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