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One that has been bugging me for a while

Fuel inefficiencies of different modes of transport.

Lets assume that a person is makes work or business based travel from home to a place of work or travels for business reasons. On average this person travels alone to work as most people own more than one car, or they can rent a car for long distance travel.

I have picked at random small fairly average car:

Volkswagen Touran S 1.6 TDI BlueMotion Technology, 1598cc, 121 g/km CO2 (61mph or 3.86 L/100km)
http://www.carpages.co.uk/co2/co2-121-to-150-1.asp

Now this person only travels a relativity short distance to and from the place of work, some where between 5 and 100 miles. Over this distance it is the most efficient method based on time, effort and cost.

If this person should have to travel a long distance, say a few thousand miles, the same time, effort and cost will apply, as such the likely hood is that the person will choose to fly.

Long distance flights per passenger: 113 g/km CO2 or 114 g/km CO2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_aviation

The above is based on the person flying a long haul flight, shorter flights are less efficient.

This person could drive from Sudbury, ON to Calgary AB, a distance of 2851km:

at 3.81L/100km the car will use 108.3 liters of fuel on the trip. 3.78 liters are equal to one US gallon and that is worth $1.33 thus 108.3 * 3.78 = $409.38 for that fuel.

A quick Google and I had a flight from Toronto to Calgary for $527. This actually is quite comparative as the person who flies does not have to purchase a car, insure the car and maintain it.

Now the person chooses to go on holiday on the QE2, this ship did 32.5knots and would burn one gallon of fuel every 49feet that it travells. Now the QE2 was able to hold 1750 poeple. So over one km it will burn 66.95 gallons of fuel or 253.09 liters. now divide this down per person and each person is accountable for 0.1446 liters of burned fuel per km. Now compare this to the car which was burning 0.0386 liters per km or one could say that the ship is burning 14.46 liters per 100km.

When considering the environmental implications it is hard to know where to stop, so we consider the airplanes vapor trails, and if so, do we also consider the road what we had to build to drive the car on.

In conclusion it probably best to stay local and walk, but don’t use the pavement and remember that the food you ate to fuel you for your journey probably came by air or sea..

One reply on “One that has been bugging me for a while”

Thank you for this Brendan – as Dad has said before I think you need to get out more.
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