My old mate Brian once described his car as being an air-conditioner on wheels.
Which got me thinking. When I go for a drive on my own, the engine in my car is moving me (75 Kg) and the car itself (1356 Kg). Therefore 94% of the energy involved is spent moving the car. It’s only marginally better if I have passengers.
An SUV such as a Ford Territory weighs about 50% more, so 96% of the energy is moving the car.
Of course, there’s a lot more to fuel efficiency than weight. A 3-car train weighs about 120 tonnes (so even if it’s full of people, the weight barely changes), but it’s still more efficient (in terms of both energy and emissions) than a similar number of cars. Ditto for trams:
The Combino light rail vehicle is about the same energy efficiency as a Porsche Carrera GT; the Porsche seats 2, the Combino seats 67 and can carry 180. The efficiency advantage is huge, though the Porsche obviously accelerates better and has a higher top speed!
— James Strickland
So there you go. Just close your eyes the next time you’re on the tram and pretend you’re in a Porsche instead.
… Well, if that’s your thing and you actually think sports cars are cool.