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Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy by Model Year
Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy by Model Year Two graphs show carbon dioxide emissions and fuel economy by model year from 1975-2010. Source: U.S. EPA, Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2010 (Nov. 2010), p. iv

Other ways to increase efficiency can be found through innovative alternative vehicle technologies, improved internal combustion engines, exhaust gas recycling, variable valve timing, vehicle downsizing, lightweighting , and behavior. Government policies need to make the cost of driving evident through full amortization, fuel/road tax, and insurance costs.

Another tactic to reduce fuel consumption is increasing the use of transportation alternatives. The use of active transportation will cause a change from environmentally harmful, passive travel to clean, active travel by bicycle, foot, and public transit. Convenient and safe public transit is not available in all communities, as it requires a certain population density to be viable. Moreover, since Americans often associate the car they drive with their material success and our communities are spread out, many people do not view public transportation favorably. Most metropolitan areas have some kind of transit system to provide transportation to those who cannot afford cars or cannot drive and/or to relieve traffic congestion. Historically, the United States has not invested equally in road and public transportation infrastructure meaning that often it is slower and more complicated to travel by transit. However, transit use is generally more economical than owning and driving a car. The American Public Transportation Association has calculated the savings based on a two person-two car household going to one-car. They found that riding public transportation saves individuals, on average $9,656 annually, and up to $805 per month based on the January 5, 2011 average national gas price ($3.08 per gallon-reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate. Savings for specific cities are shown here .

Bicycling and walking are two forms of alternate transit that have no environmental impact on energy demand. Many local governments are devoting resources to adding bike routes and parking facilities to encourage bicycling as a mode of transportation. Sidewalks and safe cross-walks are prerequisites for safe walking.

There are some options for those who must drive to reduce their energy use. Carpooling    and car sharing are also options that lower the number of cars on the road, while providing opportunities to travel by car when needed. Improved social network-based car-pooling programs can help to match riders with drivers in a dynamic way. Car sharing is a decentralized, hourly car rental system that allows people who do not own cars, but occasionally need one, to access a vehicle in proximity to their workplace or home.


There is no one silver bullet when it comes to solving the "energy problem" or planning for climate action. There are many viable solutions and the problem is so large that multiple pathways must be forged. The primary challenge is to use energy more efficiently so little goes to waste. From small actions like changing a light bulb, to large projects like CHP, the potential is great and the financial payback rewarding. Increased vehicle efficiency and active transportation are also strategies for reducing energy use. Both within the building sector and the transportation sector we have the greatest challenges to and potential for changing how we use energy today. We have already started to make that transition from more stringent CAFÉ standards to more green buildings. The challenge is to upscale all the strategies to make a significant impact.

Review questions

What does the chart in Figure Energy Demand and GDP Per Capita (1980-2004) tell us about developing countries such as China, India and Brazil’s energy use? a) In comparison to developed countries. b) Over time.

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Briefly describe a path to reducing our dependency on fossil fuels for transportation energy consumption.

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Why is energy efficiency considered a sustainable energy choice?

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Brown, L.R. (2008). Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to save civilization . New York: Earth Policy Institute.

City of Chicago. (2011). Chicago Climate Action Plan . Retrieved September 12, 2011 from (External Link)

Eagan, D.J., Calhoun, T., Schott, J.&Dayananda, P. (2008). Guide to climate action planning: Pathways to a low-carbon campus . National Wildlife Federation: Campus Ecology. Retrieved September 12, 2011 from (External Link)

Gore, A. (2009). Our choice: A plan to solve the climate crisis . New York: Melcher Media.

Pacala, S.&Socolow, R. (2004). Stabilization wedges: Solving the climate problem for the next 50 years with current technologies. Science, 305 , 968-972.

University of Illinois at Chicago. (2009). UIC Climate Action Plan . Retrieved September 12, 2011 from (External Link) .

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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