Electric Car Fleets May Hold Promise for Improved Public Transit

The most effective way of reducing pollutants is through use of electric vehicles (EVs), which are approximately 97 per cent cleaner than petrol-powered cars.

Published: 21-Jan-2008

The main disadvantages of public transport systems are the restrictions imposed on freedom of movement for their users travelling from outside the central and suburban business districts (CSBD). The use of a private motorcar provides a superior degree of freedom, with some restrictions on its parking location within the CSBD.

However, conventional petrol or diesel engine cars have been reported to be the main sources of urban air pollution in major Australian cities – pollutants such as carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide, particles (up to 50 microns) and lead – as well as being considerable contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

Some reductions in these emissions are possible either by improving the engine performance or by using alternative fuels (such as compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and hydrogen). However, the reductions are often only marginal and may come at a considerable cost. Improvements in the environmental impact of car emissions can also be made by introducing travel demand management (TDM) and the intelligent transport systems (ITS).

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