Being hopeful can help us to achieve, and though there are grim realities out there, there are plenty of positive indicators too. As solar energy can be harvested through clouds and smog, so can our best efforts shine and generate even more goodness in this crazy world. Here's to us!
Transportation comprises 27% or our emissions and fossil fuel use, personally owned vehiclesaccount for 15% of total emissions.
Although 2015 was a record year for car and truck sales, especially higher emission vehicles (half of all sales were trucks thanks to low gas prices), vehicles are lasting longer now (average 11.5 years), and people are owning new vehicles for 6.5 years - 2 years longer than a decade ago. The average fuel economy is 24.9 mpg, up about 25% in the last decade, due to legislated standards. Sales of electric cars were a bit lower in 2015 but still 116.5 thousand of them were purchased in the U.S..
We spend 17% of our annual household expenses on transportation, an average of $8500 on our cars ($600 on public transit).
Low income households spend a higher percentage.
Average miles driven per person has generally declined, but from 2001 to 2009, miles driven by 16 - 34 year olds dropped 23%, they walk and bike much more.
In cars, about 15% of the gasoline used actually moves you and the car down the road, the rest is lost to engine inefficiencies and idling. Considering your weight vs. the vehicle's, maybe 2% of that gas is moving you!
About 40% of our trips are shorter than 2 miles - a 10 minute bike ride or 30-40 minute walk, and nothing to park!
More on personal transit to come.
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