Learn to calculate the CO2 emissions of your car

You may wonder why it is necessary to learn how to calculate the CO2 emissions of a car? Well, there are several reasons: One of them, the main one, is to know the true impact that our car has on the environment.

But if the information on the CO2 emissions of my car already comes in the vehicle’s technical sheet, why do I need to learn how to calculate CO2 emissions? new and perfectly timed.

The calculation of emissions that you make, based on the real information of daily use and the time of use of your car, will have considerable differences, if it is compared with the information provided by the manufacturer at the time of purchase.

This means that the information supplied by the manufacturer is rigged? No. It means that cars do not behave the same on all terrains. That the consumption and the daily route, as well as the time of use and the quality of maintenance influence the calculation of the CO2 emissions of a car.

Why learn to calculate the CO2 emissions of a car?

Let’s assume that you have no real concern for the environment. Is that the only reason to know the calculation of the CO2 emissions of your car ?; of course not.  

A very high level of CO2 emissions indicates a malfunction of the machine that, if not corrected in time, can affect all the components of the car, making it lose value and generating a maintenance bill that can be very high.

There are more reasons.

Remember that your car must pass the ITV (Technical Vehicle Inspection). An excess of emissions can return you to the mechanic or even generate a penalty that will be more expensive than taking the time necessary to learn how to calculate the CO2 emissions of your car.

Now that, we don’t necessarily have to assume that you don’t care about the environment at all … it sure does, a lot. 

Therefore, you should also consider the following: Depending on the level of CO2 emissions of your car, you are obliged to compensate for this impact on the environment, planting a certain number of trees per year. You can only know what that number of trees is, when you know the emissions figure of your car.

How to calculate the CO2 emissions of your car?

We are going to start by clarifying that this procedure, which we refer to in this article, is intended for vehicles that use fossil fuels, such as gasoline, Diesel or Gas. Vehicles that run on electricity do not produce CO 2 emissions .

Those that use biofuels, such as ethanol, produce emissions so low that they are negligible.

To calculate CO2 emissions we need to know some data: The first of them is the actual fuel consumption of the vehicle at the time of measurement.

To do this, you can fill the tank to its maximum capacity (50 liters, it is usually the most common), and reset the Odometer of your vehicle so that it starts a count from 0. Once the fuel tank is empty, you will have the consumption of your car per liter as follows.

  • Kilometers traveled: 900 (This is an example)
  • Fuel consumption: 50 L
  • Consumption per liter 18 Km
  • Consumption per 100 Km 5.56 L

Well. We know that a liter of burned gasoline emits 2,300 grams of emissions into the atmosphere, while a liter of diesel that has fired, releases 2,600 grams of CO2 into the environment. So, the mathematical operation, for the example we propose, is very simple.

For 18 kilometers, the car in question, sheds 2,300 grams of CO2. This means that, for each kilometer, it expels 127.7 grams, which, although it may seem an exaggerated figure, is within the average for cars sold in Europe.

Now you just have to compare it with the figure that is included in the initial datasheet of your car. If the figure is lower, you are fine, since it means that you have managed to optimize the driving of your vehicle in some way, making it more efficient and ecological. 

But if the case is the opposite, surely you have a problem in your car, or in the way you drive it, which is generating higher fuel consumption, and, therefore, higher levels of CO2 emissions.

So, to solve the problem. Now that, if you want to go further, you can calculate your annual emissions, and based on them, establish what should be your compensation quota with nature, in a number of planted trees.

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