Inspiration, Why we created the Car Impact Associator CIA�

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency have confirmed that climate change is real and that only a rapid and fundamental transformation of our energy system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) rapidly enough to prevent devastating levels of global warming. The cost of weather-related disasters including floods, storms, and wildfires has risen from $8.3 million in the 1970s to $112 million from 2010 leading up to 2020. To put this into greater perspective, Climate Choices has reported that the combined losses in previous decades from weather-related events accounted for 1 percent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) whereas in the last decade, the losses have increased to 5 percent of the GDP. Even more alarming, climate change mitigation instead of adaptation causes spillover onto other sectors since it takes away from investing in other crucial parts of the economy such as social services and innovation.

It is known that provinces, territories, and the federal government have agreed to take collective action against climate change. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Christie Freeland announced last year that they would focus on an energy transition. This calls for shifting production, transportation, and consumption of coal, oil, and natural gas to carbon-free alternatives to be Canada’s single-largest energy source.

To tackle this transition, our team has devised that an effective action is enhancing transparency on the net impact of consumer vehicles. In 2019, Canada had at least 136,000 EVs on the road. The total sales for the third quarter of 2019 were 25% higher than in 2018. This increase was seen primarily as a result of EV incentives provided by Ottawa the second quarter of 2019. There are over 20 million passenger vehicles on the road in Canada today, of which will continue to grow. With growing sales, it is important to disclose necessary information to buyers on not only the economics of their car, but the environmental impact. Car Impact Associator focuses on displaying information on cars to help buyers make better choices to reduce their carbon footprint. Our key focus is keeping citizens well-informed to fuel the growth in purchases of greener alternatives such as electric or low-carbon emitting vehicles.

What it does

A user can input a car model and make, then receive information on its environmental impacts. You can compare two side by side.

Input: A user can select a car make and model, then hit enter. Process: Fetching data our database and the backend will return relevant information, including consumption, CO2 Output: The user is presented with relevant statistics on their car that are physical drivers of climate change.

How we built it

Backend: We fetched data with the help of the web-framework Flask. We stored the data on cockroachDB and analyzed a data set from kaggle with python Frontend: We used React and Materials-UI.

Challenges we ran into

We are amateur React/JavaScript users, so understanding the propagating signals across the .js files was a bit confusing. Alongside this, having had limited experience both in the back and front-end programming, it was more complicated to have both synchronize than we originally planned.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were able to split the front and back end work and come out with a completed project! We learned how to use useEffect(), Cards(), Grids(), .csv, . Used python to process the data.

What we learned

React.js - understanding state, using components and hooks
Material-ui - combo boxes, cards, grids
Javascript - async fetch - html GET for automobile JSON info

What's next for Car Impact Associator (CIA)

Our idea is to process more .csv files to enlarge the database and also to show more information that may prove useful to a car buyer through cross comparisons. In the future, with enough data, providing localized results to users would prove to be beneficial to their local economy. Higher outreach: creating more awareness for climate change through advertising, or other means of promotion.

References Global Energy Shifts: Fostering Sustainability in a Turbulent Age.

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