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Energy efficiency for passenger and freight transport

Indicator Fact Sheet (Deprecated)
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Assessment made on  01 Jan 2001

Generic metadata


Transport Transport (Primary theme)

DPSIR: Pressure


Indicator codes
  • TERM 027
Geographic coverage:

Policy issue:  Reduce energy use per passenger-km and per tonne-km

Key messages

  • Not much improvement in energy efficiency of road passenger and freight transport


Key assessment

Over the past two decades the energy efficiency of car transport (and its specific CO2 emissions) has improved slightly. This is the result of technological advances and the voluntary agreement with the car industry on the reduction of CO2 emissions from new passenger cars. There has been no improvement in the energy efficiency of road freight transport, partly because of low load factors. Trucks consume significantly more energy per tonne-km than rail or ship transport.

Ship and rail transport compares very favourably with road as regards energy efficiency per tonne-km. However, the energy efficiency of rail transport has changed little during the past two decades, suggesting that additional energy saving measures need to be explored even in the rail sector.

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