Energy efficiency in transport

Discussing what form of transport is the most fuel efficient and economical. / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The energy efficiency in transport is the useful travelled distance, of passengers, goods or any type of load; divided by the total energy put into the transport propulsion means. The energy input might be rendered in several different types depending on the type of propulsion, and normally such energy is presented in liquid fuels, electrical energy or food energy.[1][2] The energy efficiency is also occasionally known as energy intensity.[3] The inverse of the energy efficiency in transport, is the energy consumption in transport.

Energy efficiency in transport is often described in terms of fuel consumption, fuel consumption being the reciprocal of fuel economy.[2] Nonetheless, fuel consumption is linked with a means of propulsion which uses liquid fuels, whilst energy efficiency is applicable to any sort of propulsion. To avoid said confusion, and to be able to compare the energy efficiency in any type of vehicle, experts tend to measure the energy in the International System of Units, i.e., joules.

Therefore, in the International System of Units, the energy efficiency in transport is measured in terms of metre per joule, or m/J, whilst the energy consumption in transport is measured in terms of joules per metre, or J/m. The more efficient the vehicle, the more metres it covers with one joule (more efficiency), or the fewer joules it uses to travel over one metre (less consumption). The energy efficiency in transport largely varies by means of transport. Different types of transport range from some hundred kilojoules per kilometre (kJ/km) for a bicycle to tens of megajoules per kilometre (MJ/km) for a helicopter.

Via type of fuel used and rate of fuel consumption, energy efficiency is also often related to operating cost ($/km) and environmental emissions (e.g. CO2/km).