Fuel economy must improve 57 percent in order for light-duty vehicles to match the current energy efficiency of commercial airline flights, says a University of Michigan researcher.
Michael Sivak, a research professor at the U-M Transportation Research Institute, examined recent trends in the amount of energy needed to transport a person a given distance in a light-duty vehicle (cars, SUVs, pickups and vans) or on a scheduled airline flight. His analysis measured BTU per person mile from 1970 to 2010.
Mcity is a partnership with industry, communities and government formed at U-M to transform global mobility by dramatically improving transportation safety, accessibility, efficiency and sustainability. Mcity draws on U-M’s broad strengths in engineering, urban planning, energy and information technologies, business, law and the social sciences to accelerate progress in diverse areas such as connected-vehicle systems, driverless vehicles, shared vehicle, and advanced propulsion systems.
Based on results from his recent study, the Energy Institute’s John DeCicco has authored an article for Yale’s Environment 360 blog. This thought-provoking piece opens:
Every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan has backed programs to develop alternative transportation fuels. But there are better ways to foster energy independence and reduce greenhouse gas emissions than using subsidies and mandates to promote politically favored fuels.