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Conservation: 80% of Oil is Waste

Calculations of fuel efficiencies and DOE Energy Use
FTEGas mpgkm/literDiesel mpgkm/liter
Performance Std1.5730018628.512051
Van pool6.101,32238924236.686.644.7105.144.7
Rail, Amtrak20.502,65078048573.343.222.352.522.3
Rail, Transit (light & heavy)22.502,78481950977.
Rail, Commuter31.302,99688154782.938.219.746.419.7
Air, domestic96.203,26195959690.
Personal trucks1.723,9441160721109.
Bus, Transit8.804,2351246774117.227.013.932.813.9

FTE is Freight Train Equivalent. Long-haul freight and sea borne shipping set a "gold standard" of about 436 ton-miles per gallon of diesel. With that level of efficiency Global Warming and Peak Oil would not be problems.

We know we can move a ton 423 miles using one gallon of fuel (diesel). Yet in four billion of the eight  billion miles Americans drive daily in congested, repetitive travel we move a person 18 miles using one gallon of fuel.

There is no energy crisis; there is a waste of energy crisis. Ending the waste, ends the crisis, ends Global Warming and ends Peak Oil.

We need a better know-what.

The following chart shows sources and uses of power. Power generation infrastructure (orange) is 69% inefficient. Oil and transportation at the bottom is 80% inefficient. Protected from competition by government policies, these infrastructures represent 100 year old know-how.

Oil prices will stabilize as efficiencies reduce demand; inflation will be suppressed. Decreasing oil imports will help the trade deficit and strengthen the dollar. Jobs created by re-tooling to sustainable infrastructure and lower costs will enable people to afford both their house payment and getting to work.

Why move a ton to move a person?

A waste is so great, it is changing the climate.

Waste indicated in Livermore graph accepts that moving a ton to move a person is appropriate.

Greater efficiencies are practical by challenging the assumption we must move a ton to move a person. This is illustrated by Parasitic Energy Consumption (PEC), a ratio of power required for a trip.

PEC illustrates the waste of massive vehicles in stop and go traffic.

"Beam me up Scotty", moving only what you want to move non-stop is perfect use of energy. It has a PEC equal to 1.

Increasing Parasitic Mass (vehicle mass) and Stop-Starts increases relative waste.

PEC based on a 200 lb passenger
  • Trains/buses
    • PEC = 290
    • 3 tons of vehicle
    • 10 starts
  • Cars
    • PEC = 275
    • 1 ton vehicle
    • 25 starts
  • JPods
    • PEC = 4
    • 450 lb of vehicle
    • 1 starts
  • "Scotty"
    • PEC = 1
    • 0 vehicle
    • 1 starts

Relative waste of massive vehicles in stop and go traffic