104 Vehicle Pollution in Context

The extent and importance of the pollution from vehicles is sometimes questioned, especially by certain motorist lobbying organisations. Table 10.2 shows figures for Britain regarding energy usage over the years 1990 to 2000. They show clearly how the energy used on the road has gradually risen, and indeed the energy used for transport has even risen slightly as a proportion of all energy used.

The amount of carbon dioxide produced is more-or-less directly proportional to the mass of petroleum used, though it should be remembered that the table is not really

Figure 10.3 Data from Table 10.1 showing the carbon dioxide emissions (well-to-wheel) from different categories of vehicle

Figure 10.4 Data from Table 10.1 showing the energy use (well-to-wheel) arising from different categories of vehicle

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Figure 10.5 Data from Table 10.1 showing the different levels of pollution arising from the use of different types of car

Table 10.2 Data for energy use by the transport sector in the UK. Except for the last column, the figures are the two year averages. The figures are in millions of tonnes of petroleum equivalent energy

1990/1

1992/3

1994/5

1996/7

1998/9

2000

Road

38.68

39.43

39.48

41.02

41.21

41.07

Railways

0.68

0.70

0.65

0.58

0.51

0.48

Water transport

1.36

1.36

1.22

1.28

1.13

1.04

Aviation

7.1

7.66

8.28

9.12

10.63

11.86

All energy used by transport

48.31

49.78

50.25

52.67

54.2

55.20

All energy used by final users

149.55

151.92

151.48

155.86

157.54

160.06

Energy used by transport as a

32.3

32.8

33.2

33.8

34.4

34.5

percentage of all energy used by final users percentage of all energy used by final users talking about tonnes of petroleum, but an energy equivalent, and a move to more natural gas and less coal will help a little. Road transport represents about 25% of the energy used, and thus about 25% of the green house gas production. It will be much the same in other western countries. The conclusion is that a more efficient transport system can make a very substantial contribution to the reduction in greenhouse gas emission.

In terms of other pollutants, personal transport probably has an even greater impact. Especially in our cities, a very high proportion of such air pollution comes from IC engines.

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