Planes and buses and trains

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by ChinaPhil, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. ChinaPhil

    ChinaPhil New Member

    I am concerned about global pollution, which is a complex subject, so my approach has been to look at carbon emissions, in particular carbon dioxide. I am fortunate and live where there is no real need for a car so I use public transport or an electric powered bike and occasionally fly. But I was not sure which polluted the most so I created a list, shown below, where there are 3 datums, namely short haul flights, bus and train (and reference to data sources used).

    Diesel engines are slightly more efficient than petrol engines, but result in a large increase in toxic and smog-forming emissions. They are rarely mentioned in this community so they have been excluded.
    Two stroke engines have high emissions, above and beyond carbon dioxide, but are used by this community, so they are included.

    I am sure there must be errors or emissions so please feel free to comment, I hope that you do.
    The 'Electric bicycle (15Whr/km)' is my bike, if only I could afford a Tesla!

    Numbers are for carbon dioxide in grams / km / passenger (Note 1)
    Short haul flight passenger 150
    UK Petrol car average 148
    Medium motorbike average 94
    Peugeot one zero seven 91

    Bus passenger 89
    Toyota Prius Hybrid 87
    Small motorbike average 73
    Scooter 4 stroke 71

    Train passenger 65
    Tesla Roadster (110Whr/km) 61 (Note 3)
    MTB USA diet eating rider 54
    Electric scooter (Vectrix) 42
    Hybrid scooter (Piaggio) 40
    2-stroke 64cc motorbike 34 (Note 2)
    Electric motorbike (Enertia) 22
    Electric bicycle (15Whr/km) 10 Cars and CO2.html (Note 3)
    MTB 100% bread eating rider 7

    1. Car occupancy to and from work at 1.2 (

    2. 2-stroke PM emissions, which are generally very high, are mainly derived from the 2-stroke oil
    'The 16-20:1 ratios are unnecessary in bearing engines. Run engines at 32:1 when new and 40:1 when broken in.'
    'the Mitsubishi TLE 43 and the Tanakas are California compliant'

    3. USA electricity, 1kWhr = 600g CO2 ( Cars and CO2.html)
    [with some energy sources 1kWhr = 0 g CO2, e.g. solar energy]
    1 liter petrol = 2,300g CO2 (
    1 liter diesel = 2,800g CO2 (

  2. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Interesting compilation. I note that these are operating emissions, and do not address the emissions costs of either production or disposal of vehicle system components. Thanks for the tabulation.
  3. ChinaPhil

    ChinaPhil New Member

    I have also been looking at the pollution cost of vehicle production and disposal but the list is not complete, I will post it when it is.