‘You can also get sustainable luxury and comfort’

Chris Vrolijk (47) had his own software company for twenty years and recently started working as product manager for Visma Idella, another software company in the pension sector. He lives in Utrecht, is married and has two sons aged 14 and 16.

Chris Merry

It does not make him gloomy, but he is aware every day that the lifestyle in our country is not sustainable at all. We quickly burn off all fossil fuels. “Climate change affects me personally in the sense that we have storms more often, warmer weather and no cold winters for ice skating,” says Vrolijk. He’s not very upset. “I always try to zoom out and think ‘the earth will still exist’.”

In any case, Vrolijk is not trying to contribute too much to that change. Denies himself things. The last time he flew was five years ago. “A happy life does not depend on traveling through Australia or on a holiday to Spain. My kids think it’s silly that we have resources, but choose not to do such things. I want to tell them that I do my best to live a sustainable life, and if everyone does, the problem will be solved. “

Whether it is difficult to compromise on luxury and comfort? No, it does not feel that way to him. “We have a very comfortable electric car with no carbon emissions. Whenever possible, I buy the most sustainable version of things. For example, the boat behind our house has a lithium battery, which is better for the environment than a lead battery.”

Chris Merry’s cars

Lada 1200

When Chris Vrolijk was a little boy, his parents owned a Lada 1200, a petrol car produced in the Soviet Union between 1970 and 1988. Top speed? 137 km / h. This old cup is not economical. On the highway, this car drives about 1 in 10 (you can drive 10 kilometers with a liter of fuel). The combustion of every liter of gasoline in a car engine releases about 2269 grams of CO2. Diesel is even less environmentally friendly: When every liter is burned, the emission is 2606 grams. The consumption of the Lada 1200 corresponds to a CO2 emission of 227 grams per kilometer driven. It is large!

code 105

In the early 1980s, high school student Chris Vrolijk sat in the back seat of a Czech car brand Škoda. Models 105, 120 and 125 rolled out of the factory between 1976 and 1990. This car runs on petrol and the average fuel consumption is 1 to 13. This corresponds to a CO2 emission of 179 grams per. driven kilometers. So a little more economical than the Lada 1200.

Renault 9 Chamade

When he was first out of his parents’ home, the Renault 9 Chamade was the first car Chris Vrolijk himself drove (Chamade was the unusual name for a sedan). The Renault 9 model was introduced in 1981 by the French car brand. This small family car drives 1 out of 14. It comes down to 163 grams of CO2, which leaves the exhaust per kilometer. A slightly more economical car than the previous one, although the emissions are still very high.

Fiat Punto

From the age of 23, Chris Vrolijk owned a Fiat Punto, a relatively small and inexpensive Italian car that came on the market in 1993. In 1995, motoring journalists named the Punto Car of the Year. This car model therefore achieved relatively many kilometers from a liter of petrol with a consumption of 1 out of 16. This corresponds to a CO2 emission of about 141 grams per kilometer driven. According to the manufacturer, this car currently uses an average of one liter of fuel per. 29 kilometers driven and emits 79 grams per. kilometer.

Ford Focus

On the 27th, Chris Vrolijk replaced his Fiat Punto with a Ford Focus, again a compact mid-size car. In 1998, the American manufacturer Ford introduced this model to the European market. The car was immensely popular and was the best-selling model in the world in both 2001 and 2002. Is it a frugal thing? At the time, this car drove 1 in 13, which equates to a CO2 emission of 179 grams per kilometer. Slightly less economical than his previous Fiat Punto at the time. Today, the Ford Focus performs much better with a consumption of 1 to 22. This still emits 104 grams of CO2 per. driven kilometers.

Citroën Picasso

Around 2006, Chris Vrolijk bought a Citroën Picasso in the early thirties, a French car produced from 2000 to 2011. Consumption, with an average of 1 in 12, is quite high. This gives 193 grams of CO2 emitted per. kilometers pr. driven kilometers. Over the years, the cars became more and more economical, but the Citroën Picasso seemed to be a step back in that development.

Peugeot 508

In 2011, Chris Vrolijk was 36 years old when it was the Peugeot 508’s turn. The last car with an internal combustion engine that he wanted to own. The French manufacturer Peugeot released the first version of this model in 2010. The average consumption of this car is 1 in 17, which means that about 131 grams of CO2 come out of the exhaust per. That makes the Peugeot 508 the most economical petrol car of all the models it has driven.

Tesla Model S

Six years ago, Vrolijk took the step to an electric car, the American-made Tesla Model S, which entered the European market in 2013. An electric car does not have an internal combustion engine and does not emit CO2 while driving. However, power is required to charge the lithium-ion battery. This indirectly leads to emissions. Most of our electricity is ‘gray’, generated by burning fossil fuels in coal and gas-fired power plants. TNO has calculated that an electric car powered by green energy (based on solar and wind energy) emits 70 percent less CO2 on average than a comparable petrol car, if one also takes into account the amount of CO2 that the production of the vehicle and electricity costs. Do you drive on gray electricity? Then the emission is 30 percent less. The energy consumption for the Model S is approximately 18.4 kWh / 100 km, which corresponds to a consumption of 1 out of 48 for a petrol car or 48 grams of CO2 per. driven kilometers.

Tesla Model X

The car that is now on the doorstep of Chris Vrolijk and his family is the Tesla Model X, which has been available in the Netherlands since 2016. Model X is the big brother of the Model S, which uses a little more energy. Top speed? 250 km / h. On a full battery, this car can drive approximately 536 kilometers. The energy consumption is 21.8 kWh per. 100 kilometers. According to the manufacturer, this corresponds to a fuel consumption of 1 out of 40 for a petrol car. If the battery is charged with gray power, the indirect CO2 emissions come down to 57 grams per kilometer driven. The electric cars are the cleanest on the entire list!

In the theme How the climate affects you, NEMO Kennislink will in the coming period dive into the world of climate and energy. We collaborate with the Studio of NEMO Science Museum, where you can visit the Energy Junkies exhibition from June 8, 2022. In this exhibition, you make choices for the future. How would you make energy addiction a healthy habit?

De Utrechter does not see himself as a pioneer, but is a person who is open to new technological experiments, including the risks involved. He tried to make his former house in Tuindorp more sustainable with the necessary obstacles. “The heat pump that we had installed was so noisy that we had it torn down again. What a hassle … But again, sometimes you try something that the world may not be ready for yet. “

If we place the responsibility on the consumer, nothing happens, says Vrolijk. “There are a few lunatics who do not fly, the rest fly drowsy because it is almost free. Making sustainable choices is not always easy, I’m aware of that. Often that choice is expensive, take our Tesla, otherwise its impact will not fit into your life. It is up to the politicians to intervene. “

Nevertheless, Vrolijk is optimistic about the future. “Companies can transform. It is possible to look at TATA Steel and the automotive industry. In ten years, the fossil cars will be away from Utrecht, then the air quality will be better and we will have much less noise. ”

On the theme ‘How the climate affects you’, we asked a number of people about the impact of climate change on their lives. Read their stories by clicking on the icons above.

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