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Volvo Car Corporation has entered into a partnership to test whether a typical family can cut their carbon footprint by more than 85% by switching to more sustainable housing, transport and energy solutions.


‘One Tonne Life' is a joint project involving three Swedish companies - house builder A-hus, energy supplier Vattenfall and Volvo Cars. It aims to show how households can cut their CO2 consumption from today's global average rate of seven tonnes per person per year, to a more sustainable one tonne per person per year - the figure experts believe will minimise the human impact on long-term climate change.


The project will ‘recruit' an ordinary Swedish family to live in an energy-efficient A-hus house and drive the electric C30 for six-months. Meanwhile experts from Chalmers University of Technology will track their energy usage to see how the new technology changes their habits and improves energy efficiency.

The house will feature state-of-the-art insulation and ventilation systems, plus solar power for hot water, heating and electric appliances. Meanwhile, energy supplier Vattenfall will contribute new technology to measure the family's electricity consumption in real time.


The family's Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric will, meanwhile, offer the same safety, comfort and interior space as a conventional petrol or diesel car, but emit no CO2 at all as it is charged using renewable electricity. Powered by a lithium-ion battery that is recharged via a regular wall socket, a full charge takes about eight hours and gives a range of up to 90 miles.


Participation in the ‘One Tonne Life' project gives Volvo Cars the opportunity to study how the electric car fits in with a modern family's lifestyle.


Paul Gustavsson, manager of electrification strategy at Volvo Cars, said: "We will draw immense benefit from the project in our on-going development of electric cars. We will get clear information about what we need to deliver so that buyers feel that a battery-powered car is attractive and cost-effective to drive and own."


"One Tonne Life will demonstrate in concrete terms what it means for a family to live with a far smaller carbon dioxide footprint. With the right know-how, the right technology and a consistent attitude, we believe it is possible to approach the one-tonne target already today - and without making any major sacrifices to one's regular lifestyle," says Torbjorn Wahlborg, Managing Director of energy provider Vattenfall Nordic Region.


"Much of the technology and the solutions we are giving the family are already available to the public or will be in the very near future. So in other words, this is no far-fetched science-fiction project but rather utilisation of what is ready, here and now," he concluded.


The house is currently being constructed in Hasselby Villastad in the western parts of Stockholm and the hunt has begun for a family to move in from early 2011.


For more information about the challenge, visit the website at:

C30, Environment, 2011
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