Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Best way to reduce emissions is to make cars smaller

Date:
January 18, 2010
Source:
University of Oxford
Summary:
A new study says the best way to reduce emissions in the short term is a 'drastic downscaling of both size and weight' of conventional gasoline and diesel cars.

An Oxford University study says the best way to reduce emissions in the short term is a 'drastic downscaling of both size and weight' of conventional gas and diesel cars.
Credit: iStockphoto

An Oxford University study says the best way to reduce emissions in the short term is a 'drastic downscaling of both size and weight' of conventional petrol and diesel cars.

The research by Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment suggests that we should not rely on manufacturers producing hydrogen or battery-powered vehicles in the next decade.

The report 'Future of Mobility Roadmap' assesses the potential for low carbon transport on land, by air and sea. It finds that electric and hydrogen vehicles are likely to remain niche products for many years because of limited battery life and the high cost of platinum, which is needed for the catalysts in hydrogen fuelled cars.

The study editor Sir David King and lead author Dr Oliver Inderwildi urge the government to impose higher taxes on drivers of large, inefficient vehicles and reinvest the money in better public transport and measures to get more people cycling and walking.

Dr Inderwildi says: 'There is ample opportunity for emissions reductions by further improvements of currently available technology combined with a change in user habits.'

Rather than rely on the manufacturers to provide the 'silver bullet' solution to cut transport emissions, the report recommends behavioural change, urging consumers to influence manufacturers through their buying power. Manufacturers are more likely to produce smaller vehicles if customers opt not to buy larger, heavier vehicles with higher carbon emissions.

Better technology could significantly cut emissions from aircraft and shipping but incentives and regulation will be needed to encourage users to switch to low-carbon forms of transport, says the report.

It highlights algae-based biofuels as a means of significantly cutting transport emissions in the future and points out the limitations of biofuels as an alternative because of land shortages and food security concerns. First generation biofuels, derived from food stocks, 'have proved the viability of such fuels, but remain a local solution, as in Brazil,' it says.

Dr Inderwildi sees electric and diesel rail systems as the way forward in bringing down transport emissions but says there are disadvantages in the resulting infrastructure costs and lack of flexibility in route planning. Even so, reducing the carbon footprint of cars and replacing domestic flights with high speed rail could still produce 'drastic emissions savings'.

The study warns that action must be taken immediately to have any impact on climate change because of the long lifetime of transport fleets and subsequent delays in technological impact.

'Many technological options are already available and, in combination with infrastructure investments, [will] support the economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide other long-term benefits,' says the report.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oxford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Oxford. "Best way to reduce emissions is to make cars smaller." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100116102818.htm>.
University of Oxford. (2010, January 18). Best way to reduce emissions is to make cars smaller. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100116102818.htm
University of Oxford. "Best way to reduce emissions is to make cars smaller." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100116102818.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins