Gasoline/Petrol economy at a glance
Do you need to have a personal means of transport? Most people do. Donkeys and bicycles are modes of personal transport as are cars in wealthy countries. In a nutshell, here are some popular options, excluding wholly electric vehicles (more about them elsewhere)
|Hybrid Pedal Power||0.66||A hybrid pedal power bicycle can be operated either by conventional pedal power alone or motor-assist power. Weight of bike and motor ought to be less than 27 kg. The more you pedal, the less fuel you consume. The HybriPed Ped-Power prototype performed at 0.66 litres/km over 5,000 kms between July 2007 and June 2008|
|Common motorized bike||1.2||The common arrangement is that the drive wheel is fixed to the driven sprocket of the engine transmission and the drive chain is permanently in operation absorbing energy.|
|Light Motor scooter||2.0||Convenient and a step in the right direction.|
|4.4||Not fantastic when weight and cost are taken into account. A small petrol car may be a better investment.|
|Small petrol car||6.0||4 commuters in a small petrol car is a responsible use of resources.|
Single-occupant use is only marginally better than family car.
|Family size car||11||5 commuters in a family size car such as a Falcon or Commodore also is great way to cut your carbon footprint and also is a good way to recycle the thousands of ex-government cars now filling the car yards and selling for a song. However, single-occupant commuting in a family size car is poor greenhouse performance.|
Oil Depletion and Peak Oil
Most transport fuel is petroleum and the experts now say that world petroleum production is going into decline. We must begin now to tackle the looming petroleum crisis.
Until recently, most people dismissed the notion that petrol availability would decline and the cost would go through the roof. Petroleum industry spokesmen held fast to the line that life would continue as 'normal' with an abundant supply of petroleum. As recently as September 2008, a mainstream Tasmananian political party proposed a 4-lane highway linking both ends of the State. Where the fuel is going to come from is anyone's guess.
A few free thinkers such as Colin Campbell and Matthew Simmons escaped from the petroleum industry to tell the story as it really is - the planet is facing increasing shortages of petroleum. We simply cannot do what we have done for the past 100 years:- waste petroluem on energy-hungry transportation systems such as highways designed to cater for single-operator commuter cars.
The web is awash with information about oil depletion. If you are still a newcomer, the film "End of Suburbia" is a good place to start. The film remains as relevant today as it was back in 2004.
|End of Suburbia ||Beijing Traffic Jam ||Oil on the way up again? |
Fabulous Fuel Economy
HybriPed (Greg Clausen), who lives in the hilly Tasmanian city of Hobart in Australia trialled the Ped-Power concept for 2 years as commuter between work and home from July 2007 to June 2008.
Here are the facts:
- Daily journey to work and return: 40 kilometres (25 miles)
- Mountain home elevation above sea level: 460 metres (1500 feet)
- Average daily travel time: 50 minutes
- Total distance travelled: 5,000 kilometres (3,100 miles)
- Total fuel consumed: 33 litres (8.7 gallons(US))
- Gas/petrol fuel economy: 0.66 litres per 100 kilometres travelled (358 miles/gallon(US))
- Total oil consumed: 1.65 litres (0.44 gallons(US))
- Total cost of fuel and oil: $73 AUD (petrol: $1.60 per litre and oil: $12/litre)
- The equivalent commute by bus: $750 AUD (25 weeks at $30/week)
In terms of fossil fuel consumption, the HybriPed Bike fuel economy is about 1/10th the fuel economy of a small modern motorcar. Now you can have a motor on your bike on your bike and leave your car in the garage and save $$$. Save your car for family occasions. It can last a very long time if you use it only when you need it!