Thu Nov 11th, 2010 at 10:46:26 AM EST
I couldn't resist playing this clip again....
...having been stimulated by this comment.
A swedish kind of death:
I think JakeS point is that trams, trains and buses are always more efficient than cars for mass transport, because they actually utilize that it is mass transport.
...to point out that with the same power source, trams and trains tend to be more efficient than buses due to lower rolling resistance of the wheels.
I think that more work needs urgently to be done on a new generation of Ultra Light Rail very light tram/trains.
Perhaps this could lead to much conventional urban public road transport being superseded by a new generation of biomethane or dimethyl ether powered street cars, which would be ironic bearing in mind it was allegedly the US motor vehicle manufacturers who had a lot to do with seeing off the first generation of street cars.
Great American streetcar scandal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Great American streetcar scandal (also known as the General Motors streetcar conspiracy and the National City Lines conspiracy) refers to a largely unpublicized program led by General Motors to systematically replace streetcars and electric trains in many cities across the United States with bus services. Some believe that this program was directly responsible for the virtual elimination of effective public transport in American cities by the 1970s.
Whatever the truth of that, it is clearly the case that a great deal of energy is lost in generating and distributing electric power to trams and trains, while the infrastructure costs of often heavy vehicles can be massive, not to mention the cost in time of implementation - Edinburgh Tram anyone? - plus the cost of cabling, substations etc etc.
If we are truly seeking rapid progress in the transition to a low carbon economy, perhaps renewable carbon fuelled ULR could be a simple and effective - if not necessarily the most profitable (which is probably why there is little interest beyond British mavericks) - way to assist in achieving it.