Energy Conservation: Transportation
Remember, the US imports 53% of its total oil. That dependence
on foreign oil could be almost completely eliminated if the
average fuel economy of cars was 45 mpg instead of 25 mpg
Saving energy in the Transportation Sector:
- Mass Transit
- Work close to Home
- Work in Home
- Better fuel efficiency
- Alternative Fuels/power
- Tax Gasoline
- The average person uses 500 gallons of gas per year
at an average cost of $700.
- This is because we are a one occupant per car transportation
system --> suburbia (let's hear it again for the 50's!)
- In 1973 the average fuel economy was 13 mpg. After the
Arab Oil "Crisis" of 1974, the following goals were put
- 1980 --> 20 mpg
- 1985 --> 26 mpg
- 1995 --> 50 mpg
- Newton's second law ( F = ma ) tells us that fuel
efficient vehicles should have low m .
However, the profit margin on low m cars is low so
there is little incentive to build and market them.
This is a real problem. When gas prices feel to historical
lows in the late 80's the muscle cars came back.
- California had an aggressive mandate. By the year 2000,
10% of all commercial fleets (\eg FedEx vans, etc) had to be
solar powered and 2% of all cars on new car lots had to be
solar powered. Recently, this mandate was rolled back as
industry claimed the targets could not be met.
- Energy losses for cars:
Friction between tires and
the road (this is desireable, however, for braking)
- aerodynamic drag --> goes as velocity2;
(75/55)2 = 1.85 (!)
- Amount of fuel usage has increased by a factor of 3 between
1948 and 1990.
- How to reduce fuel consumption:
The Well Duh Category:
- Drive less --> use public transportation, carpool. live
near where you work (move to Toronto (note the masthead theft)), shop less, ride a bike,
- Reduce the mass of your vehicle
- Get a tune-up --> 10% fuel savings
- Reduce your drag
The true cost of our private conveyance habit: