The environmental calculator – Q&A

  • What is the environmental calculator used for?

    The environmental calculator calculates the environmental impact of vehicles running on different drive technologies and displays the results in graph format.
    The quick view on the homepage shows the accumulated CO2 emissions over the mileage, which makes it easy to see the mileage at which it would be ecologically viable to use an electric vehicle. The calculator always investigates vehicles with different drivetrains, but which otherwise are the same size and have the same equipment and usage profile.

    The detailed view facilitates a comparison of electric vehicles and their conventional counterparts in different environmental impact categories, which means that any conflicts of aims will become apparent. In the detailed view, you can also adjust key parameters such as mileage and the required range to suit your circumstances.

    The environmental impact over the entire life cycle is always taken into account. In addition to the tailpipe emissions and vehicle production, this also includes the provision of fuel or electricity, vehicle maintenance and disposal. As the production of electricity for electric vehicles is a critical issue, the balance of the electric vehicles is shown for average power and also for clean renewable wind power.

  • What data basis does the environmental calculator use?

    The calculator reflects state-of-the-art automotive technology. The key basic data and assumptions are described in the final report from the research project on the development and in-depth analysis of the environmental performance of electric vehicles. You can use the relevant button in the detailed comparison of the environmental calculator to show key databases.

  • What environmental effects are taken into account?

    The environmental calculator compares the greenhouse gas balance, and also  the cumulative energy demand (CED) in the detailed view, alongside various pollutant-related environmental effects (acidification, particulate matter, summer smog, eutrophication) of the various drivetrains. For the sake of clarity, the greenhouse gas record and CED are calculated down to one driven kilometre; nonetheless, the environmental effects over the entire life cycle, and not just the usage-related impact, are calculated here.

  • I don’t know what to enter in some of the input fields (e.g. annual mileage Euro rating). Can I still use the calculator?

    Yes. We have selected default values for all input fields. It can also be interesting to play around with the different setting options to find out which parameters have the greatest impact on the environmental record. Give it a try!

  • My vehicle runs on LPG / natural gas. Where can I enter this?

    Unfortunately the environmental calculator currently does not cover gas-powered vehicles.

  • I am unfamiliar with some of the terms used in the environmental calculator? Where can I turn for help?

    You will often find a green question mark beside unusual terms.

    Hover over the question mark with the mouse to see an explanation.

  • I can’t get the environmental calculator to work. Why not?

    You need a current web browser for the environmental calculator to work correctly. JavaScript must also be activated for If your internet connection is slow it may take a while for the results charts to be updated if you change the input variables.