When I set out to compare the greenhouse gas emissions of train, bus, car and plane I hadn’t expected to find that some commonly seen big cars are even worse than flying. Overall, though, train wins hands down for powered transport. Here’s the greener transport league table.
It’s worth noting that the car figures above are based on an “average” driver. Whatever car you currently have you can do a lot better than average by driving greener – acceerate and brake gently and stick to the speed limits.
I was surprised that the hybrid car doesn’t come out that much better than a similar sized petrol engine, and I was shocked by just how much CO2 these sports cars and monster SUVs emit.
One person in a Porche 911 is worse than a short haul flight, in a Range Rover is worse than a domestic flight, and in the Porche Cayenne and Ferrari 488 are worse than flying all together. I look forward to the time when we show off our affluence by driving the most beautiful zero emissions vehicles, or maybe walking in the most beautiful zero emissions shoes!
But what about electric cars… aren’t they the answer? Not entirely, it would seem.. read Should I buy and electric car?
Overall the message seems to be:
- walk and bike when you can
- use public transport, preferably train
- cut flying to a bare minimum. A flight can negate all your other living greener efforts.
- don’t buy an SUV or sports car
- drive less and drive more economically