Frequently Asked Questions

Generaltop

What is Moblu-ing? top

"Moblu-ing" mean doing your best to (1) understand your energy use and its impact, (2) share that understanding with your friends and the world, and (3) reduce the impact of your energy use.

Get started today. It's free and anyone can do it.

Why would I track my gas mileage? (Part 1)top

It's a simple way to make sure you're getting the most you can out of the gas you're using. Less gas wasted, less money out of your pocket. Less gas wasted, fewer CO2 emissions. A step towards a better energy future.

With Moblu and your cell or smartphone, you can enter your fill-up information right at the gas station in less than a minute. Time well spent.

Why would I track my gas mileage? (Part 2)top

You've seen the lists - "10 Fuel Saving Tips" (here's Chevron's) or "EcoDriving Practices" (here's one from Ecodriving USA).

Lots of great ideas for getting the most out of the gas you're using. Keep your tires inflated. Keep your car tuned up. Drive less aggressively. Empty your trunk. These tips can all make a difference.

The problem, though, is that if you don't track your gas mileage before and after you make a change it's often difficult to figure out exactly how big an impact, if any, the changes are having. Moblu's mileage tracker fills this gap. It's a simple and easy way to see which changes are saving you money and which ones aren't.

Why would I track my gas mileage? (Part 3)top

A sudden and significant drop in your gas mileage is often an early indicator of a more serious problem. Keeping track of your gas mileage can often help you identify these problems earlier and prevent them from becoming more serious (and costly).

Entering Fill-up Informationtop

How do I enter fill-up information using my Blackberry or iPhone?top

You can enter fill-up information from any web-enabled smartphone by visiting our mobile site: http://m.moblu.ca/.

Bookmark the mobile site on your phone and click on the “Remember Me” box so you don’t have to enter the site address and your username and password each time you fill up.

How do I use Twitter to enter fill-ups from my cellphone?top

Step 1 – Join Twitter (http://twitter.com) if you’re not already a member.

Step 2 - Enter your Twitter username when you sign-up for a Moblu account or, if you’re already a Moblu member, add your Twitter username to your Account by clicking on the “My Account” link and enter your username in the appropriate box.

Step 3 - “Follow” Moblu at http://twitter.com/moblu.

Step 4 – Start “tweeting” your fill-ups. You will need to structure your “tweet” like this:

d moblu [odometer reading] [price per volume] [volume of fuel purchased]
For example, if you bought 40 litres of gas at $0.98/litre and your odometer reading was 42,530 when you filled up, your “tweet” would look like this;
d moblu 42530 0.98 40
That’s it. Easy, peasy. It might take a few fill-ups to remember the structure but once you’re in the habit, it’s a snap. Just remember M. P. G. (Miles/Kilometres, Price, Gallons/Litres). You’re done in 20 seconds.

Can I enter fill-up information using my cellphone if it isn’t a smartphone?top

You can if you use Twitter. See the FAQ above “How do I use Twitter to enter fill-ups from my cellphone?” for the easy set-up steps. You can be ready to go in just a minute or two.

What should my "tweet" look like if I'm tracking more than one vehicle at Moblu?top

Just insert a 'v' and your car's name in the "tweet" after "moblu" and before the odometer reading:

d moblu v [vehicle name or tab number] [odometer reading] [price per volume] [volume of fuel purchased]
So, if you named your car "Lucille" then your "tweet" would look something like this:
d moblu v lucille 35432 1.45 31
You can also use the tab number of your vehicle. For example, if you know that Lucille is the car displayed on the second tab of your vehicle profiles, your tweet would look like this:
d moblu v 2 35432 1.45 31

What’s Twitter?top

It’s SMS with a twist. If you don’t have a Twitter account, it’s worth checking out (http://twitter.com).

What’s the best way to keep track of my fill-up information?top

You can enter fill-ups right at the pump by using your smartphone (Blackberry, iPhone) to visit our mobile site.

Or, you can use any cellphone if you are a Twitter user.

Some people prefer to write their odometer reading at the top of their gas receipt and enter the fill-up information next time they are at their computer.

It all works. It’s all about getting in a habit that works for you.

Editing Your Vehicle Profiletop

How do I add a picture of my car?top

Once you have logged in, click on the “Edit Vehicle Profile” button on your car’s Moblu page. Then, click on the “Browse” button in the Personalize Your Vehicle section. You can browse your computer for a picture of your car and then upload it to Moblu. You won’t see the image of the car in your profile until you click on the “Save” button at the bottom of the Edit Vehicle Profile page.

If you don’t have a picture of your car on your computer. It’s easy to use Google Images to find and save a picture of your car. Just search for the make, model and year of your car. Typically, there will be plenty of pictures to choose from.

What are badges and how do I get one?top

Posting your car’s Moblu badge on the web - in your blog, on a social networking site, in a forum signature or just about anywhere else - is a simple and easy way to share your car’s mileage. The badge will automatically update whenever you fill up or update your car profile.

Badges come in three different sizes so there’s bound to be one that fits your needs.

To create a badge for your car:

1. Sign-up or login
2. Create a profile for your car (if you haven’t already) - it takes less than a minute
3. Click on "Create a Badge" in the "Actions" section of the blue menu bar on the right-hand side of the screen.
4. Pick the badge you want to use, copy the code in the box next to that badge, then paste the code anywhere on the web.

It’s that easy.

Fuel Economy Calculationstop

Why don’t I get a fuel economy calculation the first time I enter a fill-up?top

We need two consecutive fill-ups to provide you with your first fuel economy calculation.

In order to calculate fuel economy, we need to know a couple of things: (a) how far you drove, and (b) how much gas you used to do it. The first time you enter a fill-up, we don’t have the answers to either of these questions.

The second time you fill-up we can calculate how far you drove based on the change in your odometer reading and we can tell how much gas you used by the amount of gas you purchased at your fill-up.

Why don’t I get a fuel economy calculation if I don’t fill-up?top

In order to calculate fuel economy, we need to know a couple of things: (a) how far you drove, and (b) how much gas you used to do it. Because we don’t know how big your gas tank is, the only way we can calculate how much gas you used is for you to fill-up your tank.

If, for whatever reason, you don’t fill-up, it’s no problem. Just enter your fill-up information and unclick the “I filled up” box. Next time you completely fill-up we’ll be able to calculate your fuel economy.

What happens if I miss a fill-up?top

If you enter some fill-up information and based on our fuel economy calculations it looks like you have missed a fill up, you’ll get a prompt asking if you have missed a fill-up. If you have, click the “I missed one” button and we'll insert a reminder record that you can go back and update anytime if you find the fill-up information.

Where does the fuel economy data come from?top

Fuel economy data are from the US Environmental Protection Agency (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg). We have not made any adjustments to these fuel economy numbers to account for “real-world” driving experience. Studies suggest that on average real world fuel consumption is 15% higher than reported fuel economy ratings.

CO2 Emissionstop

How are the CO2 emissions calculated?top

Emissions factors for various fuel types are from the World Resources Institute’s GHG Protocol (www.ghgprotocol.org).

Emissions from air travel are calculated using a methodology developed by the UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) (www.defra.gov.uk). We have not made any adjustments to account for flights which do not follow direct routes (ie. not along a straight line to the destination) or which are delayed or required to circle. Studies suggest that on average the distance actually flown is 9 – 10% higher than the straight-line route.

What’s a tonne? And other measurement related questions…top

Here are some helpful conversion factors

• 1,000 kg = 1 metric tonne
• 1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds
• 1 imperial gallon = 4.55 litres
• 1 US gallon = 3.79 litres

How big is a tonne of CO2?top

A tonne of CO2 has a volume of approximately 550,000 litres under normal pressure. A box the size of a tonne of CO2 could hold an average 3 bedroom home.

How much CO2 is produced by burning gasoline?top

1 litre of gasoline only weighs 0.75 kg but burning it produces approximately 2.4 kg of CO2. Each carbon atom in the gasoline, when burned, attaches to two oxygen atoms from the atmosphere to form carbon dioxide.

An imperial gallon produces 24 pounds of CO2, while a US gallon produces approximately 20.

The figures for diesel fuel are roughly the same but slightly higher.

Burning 400 litres or so will produce approximately one tonne of CO2.

How much CO2 does an average car produce in a year?top

An average North American car is driven 16,000 – 20,000 kms per year (approx. 10,000 – 12,000 miles per year) and produces approximately 4 – 5 tonnes of CO2 annually.

How much CO2 does an average North American produce in a year?top

In North America, annual per capita CO2 emissions from residential and personal transportation energy use are approximately 4 to 8 tonnes.

Total annual per capita CO2 emissions (from all sources including residential, industrial, commercial, power generation, transportation etc.) in Canada and the United States are approximately 20 tonnes – making Canada and the US two of the biggest per capita emitters in the world.

By comparison, annual per capita emissions in China (approximately 5 tonnes) are significantly lower – though growing dramatically faster than emissions in North America. China is, or will soon be, the largest single emitter in the world.

Is it “okay” that we produce as much CO2 as we do?top

There are widely varying views as to how much worldwide CO2 emissions need to be reduced in order to significantly reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change. Some say 20% by 2020. Others say 90% by 2030. Virtually all agree that we need to reduce the amount of CO2 we produce.

Dramatic changes in CO2 emissions are almost certainly going to require meaningful government action. In the meantime we can all do our part by making some changes aimed at reducing the CO2 we produce.

How can I reduce the CO2 produced by my trips?top

Here are some ideas for reducing the CO2 produced by your trip.

(a) Use your personal power

A walk to work. A bike ride to the store.

Telecommuting rather than commuting.

A teleconference or a video conference instead of a business trip.

(b) Get more out of the energy you are using

Drive less aggressively - it can improve fuel economy by up to 10%

Reduce your speed on the highway by 8 kmh (5 mph) - could improve fuel economy by as much as 9%

Keep your tires properly inflated – fuel economy can decline by up to 4% as a result of underinflated tires.

(c) Next time you buy, think energy efficient

If you are thinking about buying a new car, take a good look at its fuel efficiency. There may be an energy efficient hybrid, clean diesel, or subcompact car that meets your needs.

If you are flying, choose an airline with newer more efficient planes.

(d) Clean up the energy you use

You may want to consider buying carbon credits to offset the CO2 produced by your trip. The basic idea behind carbon offsets is that you can offset the CO2 emissions produced by your energy use by paying someone to remove from the atmosphere, or avoid producing, an equivalent amount of CO2. The market is unregulated and the price per tonne can vary widely – typically anywhere from $10 to $30 per tonne. The pros and cons of these offsets and of the various retail providers is a subject for another day.

How can carbon have a cost?top

For illustration purposes, we have assigned a cost of $10 per tonne of CO2.  In most places in the world there isn't a direct cost associated with the CO2 produced by individuals, though there are voluntary carbon trading schemes and carbon "cap and trade" regimes in place or being contemplated for big corporate emitters in a number of developed countries. 

In Canada, the British Columbia government has implemented a $0.024/litre carbon tax on gasoline which equates to a $10/tonne carbon tax.  As a result the "Carbon Cost" we show in each Trip Summary is equivalent to the carbon tax that would effectively apply to the trip in BC.  The BC carbon tax took effect July 1, 2008 and is scheduled to increase by $5/tonne per year until 2012.