Title: Energy cost comparison between bicycles and cars for urban travel

Authors: D. Metz

Addresses: Associate Professor of General Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA

Abstract: The direct and indirect energy required for urban travel by both bicycles and motor cars were compared. USEPA published mileage estimates and the Urban Driving Cycle were used in the case of motor cars, while for bicycles, a series of test rides were performed. While riding a simulated urban trip, bicycle velocity and pedalling rate were indirectly monitored. When combined with knowledge of the power required for propulsion, these data allowed for the computation of the direct energy used during the bicycle ride. Results show that for urban travel, the bicycle offers an energy saving of more than 90% over that required by the motor car.

Keywords: vehicle energy consumption; urban transport; direct energy need computation; energy saving; motor cars; bicycle velocity; pedalling rates; bicycle speed; bicycles; bikes.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.1983.061324

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 1983 Vol.4 No.4, pp.442 - 454

Published online: 25 May 2014 *

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