Methodology: How much can a start-up contribute to a low-carbon mobility in the future?

Startups will be judged for their ecological benefit. For the European Startup Prize for mobility, Carbone 4 has set up an exclusive methodology to assess how much a startup is able to contribute to the transition to this new era of low-carbon and environmentally-friendly mobility. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consider this method.


Climate and demographic challenges force us to rethink mobility.

Alternative fuels such as electrification, natural gas and biomethane, hydrogen, connectivity and intermodality offer exciting opportunities for start-ups using innovative technologies to create a more sustainable mobility.

This prize is aimed at rewarding start-ups promoting new products and services for tomorrow’s mobility. As Europe seeks to make as much as possible our transportation system more environmentally-friendly, it is legitimate that a part of the evaluation of these start-ups deals with environment, in particular the need to decarbonize mobility.

Thus, the methodology described hereafter is designed to assess how much a start-up is able to contribute to the transition to this new era of low-carbon and environmentally-friendly mobility.


The methodology focuses on several questions: all are related to environmental aspects. Therefore the first question to address is:

  1. Does the start-up’s products or services address the topic of mitigation of GHG emissions and/or local pollution?

If the answer is “Yes”, then several items have to be dealt with:

  1. Magnitude: which quantified benefit is provided by the solution?
  2. Efficiency: how many euros are needed to obtain this benefit?
  3. Diffusion: how fast can the solution be deployed throughout the transportation system?
  4. Permanence: does the benefit brought by the solution sufficiently last over the years?
  5. Public engagement: does the start-up publicly take position on the topics of GHG emissions or local pollution?

Besides, a bonus can be granted to the start-up if its solutions address some other externalities of transportation, such as congestion, noise, etc.

The scoring required by the assessment will appear as a grade between A+ and D-, or as a number of stars (between 0 and 5).

This scoring will of course depend on the answers to the previous questions, with a weighting accounting for the relative importance of each item. The table below summarizes the choices that have been made.


Method of scoring Weighting Comment


Quantification of unit benefit x size of the potential market, and position on a scale of magnitude 40% Requested information to be provided by the questionnaires


Calculation of a ratio of € per unit of environmental benefit, and position on a scale of efficiency 20%

Requested information to be provided by the questionnaires

Diffusion Position on a scale of speed of deployment 15%

Carbone 4 expertise (based upon the type of sold product / service)


Position on a timescale 15%

Carbone 4 expertise (based upon the type of sold product / service)

Public engagement

Maturity matrix regarding public declarations and participation into active groups or projects 10%

Requested information to be provided by the questionnaires


Number of negative externalities addressed by the solution (other than GHG emissions and local pollution) up to one more star

Carbone 4 expertise


For each of these criteria, both topics of GHG emissions and local pollution will be dealt with. A 60% weighting will be applied in favour of GHG emissions mitigation.


In order to feed our methodology and enable the scoring, here are the questions to be asked to the companies:

  1. Can you provide us with all the information quantifying the environmental benefits brought by your product/service to mobility (especially regarding GHG emissions and local pollution)?
  2. What is your business plan in terms of sales, investment and turnover?
  3. Have you taken public positions supporting the need to embrace more seriously the reduction of GHG emissions or the fight against local pollution caused by transports? (provide proofs)
  4. Do you take part in or support active groups or pilot projects aimed at addressing the issues above? (provide proofs)
  5. Would you like to claim any additional environmental or socio-economic benefits for society that your solution may provide?