Electric cars cut greenhouse gas emissions far more than expected according to early figures from a NASA pilot programme.
The pilot test at Kennedy Space Center asks 10 employees who commute daily to plug in their cars at the site’s charging stations.
In return for getting free charging, each then fills out a spreadsheet every day with information about how many miles they drove as well as the road and traffic conditions, according to a NASA blog.
The space agency has a goal of cutting gases 12.3% by 2020 after an executive order from the White House.
Frank Kline at the centre’s Sustainability office said: “The numbers are 10 times better than we thought we’d ever see. No one’s ever done a pilot where you get actual numbers. It’s always been estimates only.”
He added: “The average car puts out about a pound of carbon dioxide per mile. We’re reducing that by 3/5ths by letting you plug in at the Kennedy Space Center.”
It’s been a cheap pilot to run, he went on: “The programme’s first three months only cost $148 and we eliminated over 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Over a whole year, we’ll save over 60,000 pounds and that’s just with 10 drivers.”