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Ford Partners with TerraPass for Consumer Carbon Offsets

The Ford-TerraPass Greener Miles sticker.

Ford Motor Company and TerraPass (earlier post) have a joined in a partnership to market TerraPass-branded carbon offsets to all drivers of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury cars and trucks.

Under the joint marketing program, to be called Greener Miles, Ford dealers will be given brochures on TerraPass and directed to the website from several Ford product sites. Ford said it has no plans to run a broad-based advertising campaign for the initiative.

TerraPass allows car owners to purchase a TerraPass from the company. The company then pools the money and invests in renewable energy projects—especially projects that might not have made it through an initial capital-intensive startup phase. In return, buyers receive a sticker for the windshield verifying the offset.

The company offers four levels of Terrapass based on the amount of CO2 emitted by the vehicle.

TerraPass Levels
Level Carbon offset (pounds) Annual cost
Around Towner 6,000 $29.95
Cross Towner 8,000 $39.95
Out of Towner 12,000 $49.95
Road Tripper 20,000 $49.95

The company has selected two renewable energy projects to be the first beneficiaries of the offsets sold under the Greener Miles program:

  • Ainsworth Wind Facility in Ainsworth, Nebraska, a 59.4MW project that will generate enough electricity to meet the average needs of approximately 19,000 homes.

  • Haubenschild dairy farm, near Princeton, Minnesota, a family-run farm that generates power from a methane digester to power farm operation and approximately 70 other households. (Presentation)

Ford derives no revenue from the sale of TerraPasses through the Greener Miles program. Ford is funding the program as part of their broader initiative on climate change.

The deal is exclusive for a short period, then TerraPass is free to make similar arrangements with other automakers.



A good first step for Ford Motor company.

Now if Bill Ford really wanted to do something good, he could make every gas engine vehicle an E85 flex vehicle. Then fill every one of those cars with E85 to prove to the public that it works.

For Diesel vehicles (Ford sells a lot of these) they could fill every one of them with B100 biodiesel.

At that point they could brag to the world that they are really doing something to cure our "addiction".

Too bad it will never happen.
Kyle Dansie


$49.95 to offset 20,000 lbs of Co2 soulds like a bargin to me.

What are the CO2 outputs of various vehicles ie hybrid, mini-van ave car ave light truck etc.

What is the resulting lbs CO2 reduction per $ of vehcile A vs vehicle B if either vehicle can perform the required tasks.

ie a 2 seater insite is not a sutiable replacement for a 15 passenger van if you need to move more than 2 people, but diesel van could take the place of a gasoline modle.

Likewise a hybrid car could replace a non-hybrid modle provided they have the same seating capacity, if towing capacity, or 0-60 performance is a requirement that too would be a consideration.

So out of this...
Can you get the same or C02 reduction per $ spent as you would buying a hybrid / vehicle A by buying vehicle B and purchasing C02 credits to make up the difference between the two vehicles?


Cool, I can 'purchase' my guilt away. So, where is the best place to put my terra-pass to make sure the treehuggers won't torch my Avalanche.

gerald earl

It will be a while before there is enough ethenol or biodiesel to justify making all their engines capable of running on them.


I have a Terrapass for my Prius but not sure the math works out that well.

Assuming I drive my Prius 12,000 miles per year, that would be 240 gallons of gas at 50 miles per gallon. 240 gallons of gas equals 4560 pounds of co2, assuming 19 pounds per gallon. Estimates vary, but that is one number I picked up from Googling.

A Terrapass for a Prius cost $30.00 rounded. Assuming I bought wind power at 5 cents a KW (probably low estimate) , that would be 600 kw or 1200 pounds of co2 at 2 pounds of kw.

I guess, however, that my $30.00 is going for wind generator construction. Does that level of capital investment get you the carbon savings you need. Not sure.


Oh, I get it. The dollars you spend on the Terrapass provides the extra mile to make the projects viable. Your dollars aren't really saving all that carbon your car admits, but, theoretically, they are making a marginal project possible so that the whole project will offset your car's emissions.

I bought a Terrapass, but I remain just a bit skeptical.

To be safe, I would buy the most efficient car I could find, drive as little as possible and buy a Terrapass.

After all, we really need to cut our carbon emissions by 75% to even come close to eventually slowing down global warming.

I Would Rather Be Blogging

Better yet... Put your money where your mouth is and just invest in shares of alternative energy companies.

Very simple and more direct.


I'm loaded up with shares in alternative energy companies, but the stock market is a secondary market, so I think that's only helping indirectly.


Gerald Earl wrote
>It will be a while before there is enough ethenol or biodiesel to justify making all >their engines capable of running on them.

I disagreee with this statement. Take a look at Brazil to find out how they cured thier addiction.

1) Require that every new gas station built has at least one pump for E85.

2) Tax every car that does NOT have E85 capability.

3) Reward every new car buyer that chooses an E85 vehicle.

I bet you would be amazed at how fast we could GROW our way out of this problem.
Kyle Dansie



there are still concerns about the net energy output of ethanoland the practicality of having all of the vehicles in the US running on it. there is a nice wiki article you might enjoy.

biodiesel, on the other hand, seems like an idea solution for the US. some parts of the country may require heated fuel tanks to prevent clogged filters, though.

the processing required fomr biodiesel is much simpler than ethanol and diesel engines are inherently more efficient, so biodiesel is a naturally easier solution.


I bought a Terrapass last year, but I won't do it again. In my opinion, Terrapass fills a good niche. Think of them as carbon offsets for the casual. They are a for profit company (at least they were last year when I bought it). This year, I purchasing offsets from Carbonfund is a not-for-profit group. Therefore, your purchases are also tax-deductible. Furthermore, Terrapass focuses on the automobile only. With carbonfund, I can offset everything such as my home energy usage, etc.

Rafael Seidl

In the 15th century, the catholic church sold indulgences to finance the construction of St. Peters in Rome. Pay-as-you-sin eventually led to Martin Luther and 250 years of religious wars.

So instead of buying a gas guzzler + TerraPass, just buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Ford has a few models by way of its Mazda subsidiary, and will build more if there is demand for them. Other manufacturers also offer plenty of choices.

Btw, E85 and B100 in just a few cars will make their owners feel oh-so-green but have little impact on overall GHG emissions or dependence on foreign oil. Better to blend in low fractions into ALL fuel sold nationwide, this also eliminates the need for a new distribution infrastructure etc. Blending is less sexy, less individual, but on aggregate, far more effective.

gerald earl

True kid, but Brazil started their conversion in the seventies.I dont think it was as fast as you think.


The link below is to a Tech Talk given recently by a person in the know, at a place of business you might have heard of. He talks about Brazil, what it took, how they did it, why it won't work quite the same way here. What we can do to help. energy input/output balances, carbon balances, emmission issues. It will take 1 hour of your time and is quite informative. I recommend it.


Good site! I'll stay reading! Keep improving!

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