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Cleaner sports cars? Porsche brings carbon-offset program to the US

Announced on Earth Day, Porsche Impact funds programs to counter cars' environmental damage.

The Porsche Impact program is run by Swiss carbon-offset company South Pole.
Jon Wong/Roadshow

If you love driving sports cars but feel guilty about their environmental impact, Porsche has a bit of good news. The automaker is using Earth Day to bring to the US its Porsche Impact carbon-offset program, which can help counter the emissions produced by driving Porsches -- and at least hypothetically make all your sporty driving carbon-neutral.

Initially the Impact program will cover only a relatively small fleet of cars. For starters, it'll be applied to all the vehicles in the automaker's fleets at its Porsche Experience Center facilities in Atlanta and Los Angeles. The centers feature driving-training programs and the chance to sample various Porsche models both on handling courses and off-road tracks. The carbon-offset program will also be offered for Porsche Passport, the company's subscription service that lets you rent multiple different models for one fixed fee, as well as Porsche Drive, which offers short-term rentals.

All this on-track driver training will soon be carbon-neutral.


The idea behind the Impact program is simple. Porsche will use the cars' mileage to calculate how much carbon dioxide they have emitted into the atmosphere, and then will make corresponding payments to agencies committed to fighting climate change. The idea is to counter all the harm the car's emissions have done to the environment with projects intended to help the planet.

This year, Porsche Impact is expected to cover about 3.5 million miles driven by the 425 cars in its Experience Center, Passport and Drive fleets. After this test run, the intention is to make Porsche Impact available to all US customers. Porsche says that customers can choose between funding "forest protection in the US, hydropower in Vietnam, solar energy in Mexico, and species diversity in Zimbabwe." The program is already offered for Porsche buyers in Germany, the UK and Poland.

US customers will be able to sign their car up for Porsche Impact online, and then will cover the cost of the carbon offsetting based on how many miles they drive. How much does it cost? As an example, Porsche says a 2019 Cayenne S driven for 10,000 miles annually would result in a contribution of anywhere between $67 and $152 per year to the chosen environmental program. It's a small annual cost to help make the world a better place. "The idea is to give individual customers the tools to take specific steps for themselves, as they see fit," a Porsche spokesman told Roadshow.