Alex Wick and I met through the Germany-based Climate Founders event Climate Hack earlier this year. Alex is a former forester, a fellow New Yorker, data scientist and technologist, and the illustrious CEO of Cascadia Carbon. His email signature says "We build Climatetech." We're practically made to be collaborators, so I jumped at the opportunity to learn about Cascadia and share their innovation with the world.
His approach is a novel technology-based social enterprise, and thus is proper fodder for the climatetech storyverse. Cascadia Carbon heals the planet by planting trees that are backed by the blockchain, enabling them to generate carbon credits. They take it even further by attempting to enable users to generate tokens through low-emissions activities, the first democratized/distributed such effort that I've come across.
Cascadia recently launched CODEX, their blockchain-based carbon credit exchange, generator, and footprint calculator, now available on Apple iOS.
You can also head straight to the marketplace without the app to pre-order from their second batch of tree tokens. And what did they name those tree tokens?
Wait for it....
Hallelujah! Climatetech is going for it.
Alex recently drove his electric Nissan from Vancouver to San Francisco and back, a hero's journey for an electric car with a 150-mile range, and so I couldn't help but ask him some questions about how it went. And, yes, I also asked some questions about the new CODEX marketplace.
There's a lot in this interview, and much is to be revealed as time passes. So buckle in and join us for the ride.
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Can you share some tips about how your EV trip went? What was it like? I believe you said that you drove a 2020 Leaf S Plus with a 62 kWh battery pack?
The coolest thing about EVs, besides the insane torque (it feels like using cheat codes when you’re driving among fossil fuel vehicles), and zero emissions, is the lack of maintenance. EV’s have one moving part, the dynamo, while engines have thousands of interdependent moving parts which are all subject to wear and failure. I brought my Nissan in at 10,000 miles for a tire rotation. That’s literally all. At 20k I need to replace the cabin air filter.
One drawback of the EV’s instant torque is tire wear. EV tires are more susceptible to wear as you soundlessly accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 2 seconds. Be extra gentle on the accelerator once you get used to the insta-torque and you’ll be fine!
How did you know where to charge?
I used a bunch of different apps, Google maps, Apple maps, ChargePoint, PlugShare, Electrify America, EVGo, and CODEX!!!
You're building the functionality into CODEX? Awesome! What was your experience like with charging?
Charging times at a DC fast charger (up to 50kW) are 45-60 minutes to bring the battery up to about 80-85%.
Level 2 chargers (6.6 kW) are approximately five times slower, and are perfect for overnight charging. Plug into one of these, and in the morning you’ll be all the way back to 100%.
Did you ever run out of juice?
No, but I’ve been at zero %, blinking - -%, and even "we’re only going 5mph until you plug me in."
Wow! What do you do when that happens?
You find the closest three prong outlet and plug in (with permission, of course). It's quite slow, 24 hours to reach 50%, but 3-4 hours will usually get you to the next fast charging station.
Sounds like a good time to read a book or call Mom. Are emergency chargers a thing?
Emergency EV chargers don’t really exist yet, and don’t really make sense. They’d be very heavy. I can see Tesla driverless tow trucks in the near future which you can summon to give you juice if you run out between highway exits on an uphill. This question seems old fashioned, like from the gasoline-powered past.
Do you have any long drives coming up?
Cascadia Carbon is planning to buy a Tesla Model 3 using crypto and Alex has plans to drive it across the country from Vancouver to NY next!
Let me switch gears (no pun intended) and ask you some questions about CODEX.
CODEX is a custom, low-carbon blockchain designed for individuals and enterprises to exchange tokens backed by offset or sequestered carbon.
What is CODEX?
CODEX is an app linked to a blockchain called Carbon Codex. CODEX tracks your transportation-based emissions automatically via your smartphone, making it possible to visualize your carbon footprint in real-time. Additionally, when you choose a more ecological mode of transportation, like walking, biking or driving a low-emissions vehicle, the app will measure the carbon offsets you are creating.
Why should someone buy now?
Previously, the carbon offset market excluded individuals from participating, meaning only companies or larger entities can purchase and sell carbon offsets. With CODEX, we provide an opportunity for individuals to participate in the voluntary carbon market with both the capacity to purchase offsets via our iOS app, as well as generate crowdsourced carbon credits by choosing more ecologically-conscious alternatives for their daily transportation. We just sold out of our first batch of 50 "NFTrees," and you can pre-order from the next batch of 100 in our marketplace.
The NFTrees are priced as "seed," which is $10, "seedling," priced at $15, and "sapling," at $90. Can you share a bit about what the terminology means? Does this mean that each token is tied to a specific tree?
Buying a seed NFTree, or "seed presale token," guarantees a seed that we will regerminate up to two times if it does not survive. Buying a seedling guarantees we will care for and replace (in the case of death) your NFTree for three years. The sapling NFTree guarantees a 10 year survival timeline. After ten years, mortality drops off quickly, so this is the best option if you want to generate plant-based sequestration offsets (versus zero-emissions transportation offsets). You can upgrade nearly anytime: there are some periods when upgrades may be restricted, dependent on network usage and weather events. To top it all off, we ship seeds to all of the NFTree buyers once your tree reaches fertile, cone-bearing age.
What can we expect from Cascadia and CODEX in the future?
You can expect the launch to fully come out around mid May. As we work with our experts to make changes and create a functional app, users will start to be able to invest in offsets and gain value from them through our blockchain.
That's all for now. I hope you enjoyed this interview with Alex Wick, CEO of Cascadia Carbon. Head over to https://cascadiacarbon.com/ to download the CODEX app, snag some NFTrees, and join their newsletter.
Climatetech is medicine for the planet, for the soul, and this Media Project is a cultural and informational arm of this (r)evolution. Always has been, always will be. Independent and visionary since day 1. We are what the world needs. At least, we're trying.