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Overall energy efficiency and specific CO2 emissions for passenger and freight transport

Indicator Fact Sheet (Deprecated)
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Assessment made on  01 Nov 2005

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

    • Specific CO2 emissions of passenger cars (Figure 1) have decreased during the past fourteen years (1990-2004), indicating an improvement in the specific energy efficiency of passenger car transport within this time period. The voluntary agreement with the car industry to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars, increasing thus the energy efficiency, is making progress towards its target, although increased efforts are required. However, rail and maritime shipping remain the most energy efficient modes of passenger transport.
    • While the specific energy efficiency of trucks (Figure 2) has remained stable, a slight improvement in efficiency can be observed for rail freight transport. Trucks consume significantly more energy per tonne-km than rail or ship transport.


Key assessment

The energy efficiency of road passenger transport has improved by 2 % between 1990 and 2004, while it remained stable for road freight transport over the same period (for a more detailed assessment on the various modes of road transport see also sub-indicator TERM 2005 27b, below).

The energy efficiency of rail passenger transport has decreased by 8 % between 1990 and 2004, while the energy efficiency of rail freight transport has improved by over 5 % over the same period in the EU. This could be related to the combined effect of increased loading factors for rail freight and lower occupancy rates for rail passenger transport.

The energy efficiency of maritime and inland shipping has recorded slight changes of the order of ±3 % in the time period considered.

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