Electric cars can boast that they have zero tailpipe emissions, which is absolutely true. But the electricity used to power EVs still has to come from somewhere, and at the moment in America, that “somewhere” is usually a dirty source of energy. So until all the world is powered by hydro, solar, and wind power, even electric cars can be blamed, in part, for the world’s emissions issues. Plus, there’s still the manufacturing of the cars.
To offset the emissions from the production, delivery, and operation of the Volkswagen e-Golf over 36,000 miles of driving, the German automaker is supporting the Garcia River Conservation-Based Forest Management Project, located in Mendocino County, California. The project seeks to repair and preserve over 24,000 acres of new-growth redwood trees, helping to restore an important ecological habitat and increasing the carbon sequestration ability of this old and mighty forest.
“This goes beyond just selling electric vehicles. It’s actually a corporate objective. We’re working toward this model of sustainable mobility—having CO2-neutral mobility solutions. This really is what drives us. This is the whole Think.Blue perspective that we have. Our partnership with 3Degrees basically enables us to have a carbon-neutral car [the e-Golf] through manufacturing, distribution and the first three years of driving and charging,” says Stuart Gardner, Project Manager, Golf family, Volkswagen of America
The Garcia River Project is the first nonprofit-owned working forest and comprises about one-third of the Garcia River watershed. Volkswagen’s support of this project could help pave the way for similar carbon offset efforts, as automakers seek to make their green cars as green as possible. While environmentalism may not be the #1 motivator of plug-in car sales, I’m not going to complain if Volkswagen wants to make me feel less bad about plugging into a coal plant.