How Sustainable is a Tesla? It depends on where you live...

While there are undeniable benefits to electric cars, a huge component of their carbon reduction lies with where – not how – you drive.

A Union of Concerned Scientists report published in 2015, found that “over their lifetime, battery electric vehicles produce far less global warming pollution than their gasoline counterparts,” but in some areas electric car emissions are only equivalent to a gas powered car that gets 31-40 miles per gallon. In others, driving an electric car is as efficient as a car that gets 85 miles per gallon.  This huge range depends on the energy source that feeds the grid.  If your state generates electricity with coal, its carbon footprint will be greater than one powered by nuclear or natural gas.  

The map above shows the miles per gallon a car would have to get to make it equivalent to an electric vehicle.  

The map above shows the miles per gallon a car would have to get to make it equivalent to an electric vehicle.  

This just goes to show how complicated it is to measure the sustainability of any product.  It’s not enough to look at how products are made, used, and thrown away – you also need to track where. That’s the reason we started Sourcemap: to map the end-to-end supply chain, the life of a product from cradle to grave.  We routinely help companies map their supply chains from the farm or mine to consumers and beyond.  Once companies have this level of transparency they can take sustainability issues ranging from water use to CO2 emissions and social issues into account.

Want to learn more about the true impact of your supply chain?  Get in touch.