“Earth-friendly” Cars to be as Energy-Efficient as High-speed Electric Trains
Newly designated chairman of UK’s Newton Rail, ex-Ford engineer, Richard Parry Jones, is of the opinion that by the end of this decade, most “Earth-friendly” internal combustion engine cars will be as energy efficient as today’s high- speed electric trains (per-passenger efficiency).
Since the emissions for electric cars and trains is generally considered to be zero, we’re assuming he meant diesel-electric high-speed trains. Meanwhile, he added that life-cycle emissions wouldn’t be a valid comparison since those aren’t factored into a car’s tailpipe number. According to him, car makers are targeting an impressive 40 g/km of CO2 tailpipe emissions by 2020. If the “average” occupancy of 1.6 people-per-vehicle stays the same in eight years, that would equal 25 gm per person per kilometer and put such cars in the same environmental category as the cleanest mass transit, i.e. electric trains.
According to The Guardian‘s table of emission numbers by transport, a tiny diesel engine topped up with ultra-low sulphur fuel have to load atleast four folks to get down to 42 grams per passenger per kilometer (gpkm). That would put us right with one of Virgin’s Voyager class diesel-electric trains at 75-percent capacity.