• Jan 31st 2011 at 6:02PM
  • 7
How clean can one modern, European family go? Swedish auto maker Volvo, wooden house experts A-hus and energy company Vattenfall are helping one family cut its carbon emissions by 85 percent in a quest to live the "One Tonne Life." The challenge the familiy is taking on is to live within a limit of one metric ton of carbon emissions per person per year (the average Swede's emissions is seven metric tons per year). Thus, for the next six months, the Lindell family (mom, dad and two teenagers) will live in a solar- and wind-energy-powered home equipped with energy efficient appliances just outside of Stockholm. With the help of a grocery chain store, the family will also make efforts to consume locally produced and sustainable foods.

During this time, the family will drive a Volvo C30 Electric vehicle which will provide the family about 90-to-100 zero-emission miles per eight-hour charge. According to Lennart Stegland, Volvo Cars' Special Vehicles division manager, "The project will give us clear information about what we need to deliver so buyers feel that a battery-powered car is attractive and cost-effective to drive and own."

The Lindells beat out 50 other families who applied for the chance to participate in the project. To learn more about the project and follow the Lindell family's journey, visit the One Tonne Life website.

[Source: One Tonne Life via Plug In Cars]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Will they count the emissions from the liquid fuel powered heater in the Volvo C30? Zing!

      I don't mean to knock it . . . I think liquid-fuel heaters are a good option for EVs in Northern climes. But you can reduce the need by pre-heating the car with grid power before you unplug.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cars + suburban lifestyle are inherently more carbon intensive than urban walkable & bike-able communities in close proximity to electric trains.
      • 4 Years Ago
      While living in the city and walking consume less carbon, not everyone can live in the city. Projects like these need to be encouraged. An endeavor like this should become the norm. We need more people embracing alternative energies. Of course, there are two major hurdles to overcome. First, alternative energy sources can be very expensive. Secondly, people are comfortable with their current way of living and many people fear such drastic changes as this family is going through. The first problem can be overcome with continued research. The second problem requires the public to be educated on alternative energy through projects like these..

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      • 4 Years Ago
      Just for reference, what's the average American CO2 production per-person-per-year?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Ernie
        if my memory serves me right, in Sweden, there is only a percent or two of the houses that still use oil for heating. Gas is only used in a few housing areas in Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö.

        Also, most, if not all, buildings in Sweden are really well thermally isolated (eg. single glass windows are nearly non-existant in homes - double glass windows can be found in buildings from the early 1900s as original...) today only triple glass or double glass or other more exotic specail glass is used in contruction.

        and, yes, air conditioning is also kind of non-existant... there is no need for it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Here you go:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita

        The US 18.9
        Germany 9.6
        Denmark 9.2
        France 6.0
        Sweden 5.4

        Germany and Denmark both spend a fortune on wind, as well as solar in the case of Germany but use fossil fuels as the wind can't be relied on and at their latitude solar is more or less useless in winter when it is most needed.
        Sweden uses a lot of both hydro and nuclear, and France mostly nuclear with some hydro.

        I wonder which policy is most effective at reducing carbon emissions? :-)

        I reckon that if they move their light vehicle fleet to EV's France can cut it's carbon emissions to perhaps 2-3 tons per capita.

        Sweden is blessed with a lot of hydro and a large contribution of nuclear, but poor solar resources.
        That will not stop nut-cases trying to stuff pv in everywhere.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's funny. The article says that Swedes produce an average of 7 tonnes per year. Maybe they meant short tons. Or the Wikipedia statistics are out of date.

        At any rate, in comparison, the average US citizen could easily cover their house in solar panels and get much more use out of them than this Swedish family, and probably get about the same results - that is, producing 1 or 2 tonnes of CO2 (and a reduction percentage probably around 90-95%). Largely by virtue of said solar panels reducing electricity usage, which comes more from coal in the US than in Sweden. The addition of the electric car would have a similar impact.

        Coincidentally, while the electrical output of the solar panels wouldn't amount to much in the way of savings for this family, I'm certain that proper insulation of the house would contribute far more, especially at their latitude. The bulk of *their* normal CO2 emissions would come from gas or oil heating the house in winter. Air conditioning would only be necessary for maybe a grand total of 14 days in the summer.

        Also, since at their latitude, the sun rises at probably 4 or 5 in the morning in the summer, it's entirely possible that a significant amount of the car's battery will be charged solely by the sun before someone needs to head out to work.