Efficient Transport Technology

energy efficient transport options

Free Best Transport Practices

  • If possible walk or cycle short distances
  • Avoid unnecessary acceleration to minimise energy consumption
  • Choose higher gears when appropriate to reduce consumption
  • Check tyre pressures, if too low it will increase fuel consumption
  • Avoid unnecessary weight in vehicle boot or items such as roof racks when not needed
  • Avoid peak hour traffic if possible
  • Compare the cost of public transport versus car running costs including purchase; registration; fuel; insurance; depreciation; maintenance; parking
  • Hire a special purpose vehicle instead of buying one for example 4WD for a camping weekend.
  • Choose a vehicle than uses the least energy for your requirements
  • Consider car pooling to save on costs
  • Consider telecommuting instead of travelling daily to an office

References for further information 94 95

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Public Transport

Public Transport Advantages

  • Can be quicker than a car in peak hour, particularly if using special transit lanes.
  • Can be cheaper than the overall cost of running a car
  • No parking to pay, a big consideration in some cities you pay up to $50 a day
  • No tolls to pay for roads, tunnels, bridges and inner city use.
  • No stress and concentration required compared to driving, catch up on reading or paperwork
  • City planning is easier when public transport is better utilised
  • Less road upgrades; expansions; tunnels; bridges; needed if public transport is used effectively
  • Less pollution in the cities

Public Transport Disadvantages

  • Need to get to a station or bus or tram stop.
  • Only follows set routes
  • Public transport may not be well supported in your neighbourhood
  • Weekend and night schedules often have fewer services
  • Peak periods can be crowded

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Bicycle

Bicycle Advantages

  • Quicker and more efficient than walking
  • Can be quicker than a car in peak hour
  • Gain fitness while using it.
  • Very quick if good bike paths are available.
  • Cheaper than a car to keep.
  • Free parking in most cities.
  • Bicycles with 200 Watt electric motors are still classed as bicycles. They have 40 km range, go up to 30 km/hr, cost under 5 cents to charge and will cost $1200-$2000 to buy.

Bicycle Disadvantages

  • Need a place to park and secure the bike.
  • Purchase price of the bike.
  • Can be dangerous if bike paths are not available.
  • May require showering facilities at the destination.
  • In wet or very hot weather it is not pleasant.
  • Lighting required for night riding.
  • The helmet required in Australia when riding may affect hair style

References for further information 96 97

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Electric Scooter

This is one of the cheapest ways of having using an electric vehicle. The specifications are useful for city use. Below is a description for a Vectrix Electric Scooter which is available in many countries of the world.

  • Maximum speed 100 km/h
  • Range 110 km
  • 0 to 80 km/h in 6.8 seconds
  • 3.7 kWh battery
  • 2 hours to charge to 80% from regular power point
  • Batteries good for 1700 charge cycles that is around 170,000 km
  • Built in charger, just plug in power lead to charge
  • Regenerative braking. Braking power is used to help charge the battery which also reduces brake pad wear.
  • No gears
  • Powered reverse is possible
  • Choose green power from home and have a zero carbon footprint
  • Cost $14000

Scooter Running Costs Total Charge (kWh) Charger Efficiency Total Power to Charge (kWh)
3.7 0.85 4.35

Electricity Supply Cost $/kWh Total Charge Cost Cost per km Cost per 100000 km
$0.08 $0.35 $0.0032 $316.36
$0.10 $0.44 $0.0040 $395.45
$0.12 $0.52 $0.0047 $474.55
$0.14 $0.61 $0.0055 $553.64
$0.16 $0.70 $0.0063 $632.73
$0.18 $0.78 $0.0071 $711.82
$0.20 $0.87 $0.0079 $790.91
$0.22 $0.96 $0.0087 $870.00

Other electric scooter benefits

  • Less than 1 cent a kilometre to run
  • No stopping at petrol stations
  • No oil changes or exhaust maintenance
  • No power wasted when idle unlike petrol engines
  • Very little noise
  • Parking may be free in some cities or parking spaces can be shared

Parking 250 days a year Year Total Cost
$5 $1,250
$10 $2,500
$15 $3,750
$20 $5,000
$25 $6,250
$30 $7,500
$35 $8,750
$40 $10,000
$45 $11,250
$50 $12,500

Suggestions: If possible charge at night using off peak power rate.

Related Sections: Green Power Options Electric Car

Local Assistance: Electric Vehicle Calculator Fuel Efficiency Converter

References for further information 1 98 99 126 135

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Electric Car

There are many manufacturers developing an electric car including Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan and GM. Some electric cars are available now but distribution is limited. Retrofitting a petrol car by removing the engine and replacing it with an electric motor and batteries is an option. Plug in Hybrids Electric Vehicle (PHEV) contain an electric motor and a petrol motor with the electric motor is used as preference. If recharged regularly and short trips are done then the petrol engine does not have to operate at all. An advantage of PHEV is that it has a longer range compared to an electric vehicle if required. The battery setup costs are the most expensive component of an electric vehicle at the moment. One example of an electric car is the Think from Norway. Specifications for the Think City car are:

  • Maximum speed 100 km/h
  • Range 200 km
  • 2 doors
  • 4 seats
  • Air conditioning
  • 0 to 80 km/h in 16 seconds
  • 8 hours to 80% charge using 230 Volt 14 Amps
  • 28.3 kWh battery
  • Cost 25000 Euros
Electric Car Running Costs Total Charge (kWh) Charger Efficiency Total Power to Charge (kWh)
28.3 85% 33.3

Electricity Supply Cost $/kWh Total Charge Cost Cost per km Cost per 100000 km
$0.08 $2.66 $0.01 $1,332.00
$0.10 $3.33 $0.02 $1,665.00
$0.12 $4.00 $0.02 $1,998.00
$0.14 $4.66 $0.02 $2,331.00
$0.16 $5.33 $0.03 $2,664.00
$0.18 $5.99 $0.03 $2,997.00
$0.20 $6.66 $0.03 $3,330.00
$0.22 $7.33 $0.04 $3,663.00

Other electric car benefits

  • Approximately 1 to 4 cent a kilometre to run
  • No stopping at petrol stations
  • No oil changes or exhaust maintenance
  • No power wasted when idle unlike petrol engines
  • Very little noise

The Smart ForTwo car now has an equivalent electric version with 100 vehicles being test driven in the UK. The next stage is for 1000 vehicles to be made with some being exported. The expected price in Australia is $30000. Mitsubishi i-MiEV (electric car similar to Mitsubishi Colt) will be one sale for $30,000 in Australia in 2012.

Compare the costs of a similar sized efficient petrol car, Toyota Yaris 3 door. City / Country fuel economy value used.

Petrol Car Running Cost Consumption litres/100 km litres / km
Yaris 3 door 6.1 0.061

Fuel Cost per litre Cost per km Cost per 100000 km
$1.20 $0.07 $7,320.00
$1.40 $0.09 $8,540.00
$1.60 $0.10 $9,760.00
$1.80 $0.11 $10,980.00
$2.00 $0.12 $12,200.00
$2.20 $0.13 $13,420.00
$2.40 $0.15 $14,640.00
$2.60 $0.16 $15,860.00
$2.80 $0.17 $17,080.00

The comparison shows that electric cars should have a lower running cost compared to a similar sized petrol car. If peak hour traffic is encountered regularly then petrol fuel consumption would be worse. The differences are greater when compared to larger petrol vehicles. Factor in the trend of increasing the price of petrol over the life of the vehicle.

electric car transport Fuel and energy Efficiency

Suggestions: Charge at night using off peak power rate if possible. Choose a vehicle size that suits your needs and check its economy before purchase. Consider alternative energy production to lock in your future transport energy costs. Consider green power to eliminate all your electric generation emissions.

Related Sections: Green Power Options Electric Scooter

Local Assistance: Electric Vehicle Calculator Fuel Efficiency Converter

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