“It’s hard to imagine a more comprehensive, and comprehensible, guide to making your home work for you and

for the planet, inside and out. It’s frugal, it’s sensible, and it will help!” —BILL MCKIBBEN

234

THe CaRbon-FRee Home

Table 11.1 Daily Transportation Options and Their Efficiencies

Avg. Passenger Average Car5 0.6

Avg. 25

Avg. 45

Fossil-fuel Free? Absolutely not!

Pros Readily available, good for hauling larger items. Better than regular car, good at hauling mediumsized items. Better than regular car, good at hauling mediumsized items.

Cons killing the planet.

Miles/1,000 kcal MPH Urban MPH Hwy.

Compact Car6

1.2

25

45

No.

Still major cause of global climate disruption. Twice as expensive as compact for almost no benefit if run primarily on gasoline; costly; expensive to maintain. New models are expensive; used models unreliable or hard to come by. Stupid laws restrict highway use, extra care required, exposed to the weather. Slow, exposed to the weather, very hard to haul large items. Limited availability, and testing, expensive, slow, battery replacement required after a few years. Limited availability, scheduling conflicts, difficult for hauling large items. Very limited availability depending on location, scheduling conflicts, difficult for hauling large items. Exposed to weather, difficult for hauling large items. More expensive than regular bike, limited range. Exposed to weather, difficult for hauling large items, noisy and polluting two-stroke engine.

Hybrid Car7

1.4

25

45

Limited use of plug-in model could potentially come close.

Diesel Car8

0.9

25

45

Biodiesel potentially if used very sparingly.

Horse8

2.7

10

15

Yes, if not fed fossil grains.

Diesel engine more efficient; biodiesel has greater net energy return than ethanol. Beautiful, fun, good companions, manure great for garden. Healthy, free, entertaining.

Walking10 (5)

23

3

3

Absolutely!

Electric Car11 (6) (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) Bus12 (7)

2.3

25

25

Potentially with renewable electric system.

Compact, can move up to four persons or smaller hauls.

5.6

20

45

Potentially with biodiesel. No maintenance, inexpensive. Potentially with biodiesel or renewable electric system. Yes! Potentially with renewable electric system. No. No maintenance, inexpensive.

Light Rail13 (8)

6.9

25

45

Bicycle14 (9) Electric-Assist Bike15 (10)

30 20

10 15

15 15

Very inexpensive personal transportation. Inexpensive personal transportation, assures constant speed Much cheaper and more efficient than car.

Gas Scooter16 (11) 2.4

25

35

*In most places the public transportation options will be running on fossil fuels, but don’t take this as a reason not to use them. They are often the most efficient use of these fuels.ComparisonoftransportationefficienciescourtesyofJamesStrickland.

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