About the Project

Made by Eric, Minh, and Jakob


The aim of this website is to visualize how impactful it is for people as a collective to switch from gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles. This is achieved visually with the color of the sky and the depiction of “ghost cars” which represent a car on the road that is invisible in the realm of CO2. There are buttons for certain countries at the top so that people can view the current reality in various places in the world, with all showing a pretty bleak depiction when compared to the ideal scenario.

Norway is the clear outlier and shows one of the shortcomings of our visualization in which factors such as fossil fuel exports and imports are not considered. Given Norway exports a decent amount of fossil fuels, which is not accounted for at all by our model, Norway appears to be significantly less of a contributor to CO2 emissions than they probably are in reality and practicality.

Nonetheless, your choice to switch to an electric vehicle matters. How much it matters also is changed by how clean the energy you are using, but even in the worst case of fully non-renewable energy, it still is significant. While making your car “green” may not feel impactful at a small scale, that action can maybe end up taking the environmental impact of a car off the road with a collective effort. Electric vehicles and renewable energy are the future, and you must do your part by reaching out to your representatives or making the switch to electric yourself.

We hope that interacting with our website has given some insight into the current situation and will encourage a push for a future with clean skies, one small change at a time.


A figure of 24.9 mpg is used for gasoline cars, with each mile emitting 356 grams of CO2.[1] For upstream fuel costs, a figure of 343 grams of CO2 released per mile are used[2] and is simply added onto the previous value. 

For electric cars, we assume a rate of 0.33 kWh per mile energy consumption.[3]

Electricity production is calculated to to emit, on average, 1.464 lbs of CO2 per kWh generated[4] and we consider 37% of electricity in the United States to come from renewable sources.[5]

Nuclear energy is considered renewable in this model, mainly due to the low carbon impact of nuclear energy, but there are many reasons why this should not be the case outside of this model's scope.


While these numbers may hold true at the current reality, when we try to extrapolate to the extremes other variables may change as well, causing the reality to be vastly different from what is represented here. Even so, this tool serves as a novel way to demonstrate beliefs about electric vehicles not having an impact because the energy comes from polluting sources anyways. As a model, it only considers consumption, meaning that there are also polluting factors from the manufacturing and recycling of both gas powered and electric vehicles that are not considered in this model. Other considerations, such as different vehicle sizes and different fuel types are also not considered, as those are not directly relevant to the average person.

Created for SD Hacks 2021

[1] https://www.epa.gov/automotive-trends/highlights-automotive-trends-report

[2] https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-03/documents/emission-factors_mar_2018_0.pdf

[3] https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_charging_home.html

[4] https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=74&t=11

[5] https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3