A Brooklyn family decides to swap their 2006 Toyota Sequoia for a 2011 Prius. What’s their impact on the environment? According to IntelliGauge, a new online fuel consumption and carbon dioxide calculator, the result is a reduction in CO2 emissions equivalent to planting 101 trees every year. Since they drive a modest 5,000 miles per year, they will also save $1,000 in gasoline money.
Crunching Carbon: IntelliGauge compares vehicles and calculates annual CO2 emissions, fuel efficiency, and annual fuel costs.
The application, which is available for use on tablets, smartphones and desktops, was originally developed for vehicle fleet operators, but families and car owners can use it too. “Companies look for ways to reduce their CO2 footprint and swapping out old trucks for a more efficient model is the easiest way to do it,” Jadine Starmer, a web product manager at GE Capital who created the app. “The app allows you to see the costs and the savings.”
IntelliGauge, which launched last week, covers dozens of conventional cars and trucks, as well as hybrids and electric cars like the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf. Starting in July, a second version of the app will also include vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). Owners select the select the desired car makes from pull-down menus, enter the number of miles driven per year and the number of vehicles in their fleet, and the app will calculate their annual fuel and CO2 savings. It does not compare the actual price of the car.
Every day the application pulls fresh mileage and fuel costs data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy to deliver the most accurate results. CNG data will most likely come from GE. “There is not much information out there about CNG right now,” Starmer says. GE is a pioneer in the budding CNG field. Starting this fall, GE will start building a network of 250 CNG compression units along busy U.S. truck routes.
IntelliGauge also links to other EV products from GE like the WattStation charger and related online apps. GE spent the last two years building a suite of software called WattStation Connect that allows owners to manage chargers from their smartphones and monitor energy costs. Drivers also get directions to nearby chargers, see pricing data, and learn which unit is open.