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The challenge of energy-efficient transportation

  • Jo Hermans (a1)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

The efficiencies of present-day modes of transportation are reviewed. Future sustainable options are discussed.

Transportation takes about 20% of the energy use worldwide [1], and this figure is likely to increase. The fact that transportation requires some form of mobile energy storage makes this topic especially challenging for the post-fossil-fuel era. When looking at alternatives, we should realize that nothing matches the energy density of liquid fuels like gasoline or diesel, if the system as a whole is considered. It is, therefore, important to consider the efficiency of various modes of transportation. To assess the possibilities of improvements in efficiency, a brief introduction into the physics of transportation is given first. Subsequently, the efficiencies of present-day modes of transportation—cars, buses, trains, air transport, and bicycles—are reviewed. Finally, new technologies relying on biofuel, electricity, solar power, and hydrogen are discussed.

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Corresponding author
a) Address all correspondence to Jo Hermans at Hermans@Physics.Leidenuniv.nl
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

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MRS Energy & Sustainability
  • ISSN: 2329-2229
  • EISSN: 2329-2237
  • URL: /core/journals/mrs-energy-and-sustainability
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