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Electric scooters come out on top in Colorado emissions study

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Recent research from Colorado State University compared greenhouse gas emissions across a range of transportation modes

Source: The Colorado Sun

Electric scooters and e-bikes have been revealed as the top performers in terms of lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, when taking into account production methods and actual use. This is in part thanks to taking relatively few resources to produce and carry residents efficiently over short distances, sharply limiting their greenhouse gas contributions as they get the job done.

Buses came out poorly due to the fact that the average bus trip only has seven or eight passengers, meaning that a journey on a diesel-powered bus is one of the least efficient per-passenger-mile methods when greenhouse gases are accounted for.

The low ranking of walking may come as a surprise, but the results here are partly influenced by the food intake required for high-energy walking, combined with the meat and processed food-heavy diet prevalent in America. It is also noted that walking is not ‘kinetically efficient’, pushing it down the table.

The researchers stress that these results should not be read as a damnation of walking or electric cars, especially when fossil-fueled cars are still the prime offender in greenhouse gas emissions. It still remains vital to switch those modes of transport to energy-efficient electric batteries and motors, which must be backed up by policymakers and investment in clean and convenient mass-transit.

“The greatest emissions reductions can be achieved through adopting technologies energized by decarbonized electricity and changing travel behaviour,” researchers Horesh and Quinn shared. 

It is worth noting that it is impossible to completely eliminate emissions that come with producing an electric vehicle, but that “Basically, electrified transportation can get pretty close to zero.”

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