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#1 2010-07-10 13:05:12

rich00
Member
Registered: 2010-01-18
Posts: 166

"A Life Cycle Assessment of Transport Options for Commuters"

http://www.pietzo.com/electric-bicycle-research/

Walking, bicycling, and electric-bicycling turned out to all be equal and far less impact than every other mode of travel.

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#2 2010-07-11 09:15:37

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
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Re: "A Life Cycle Assessment of Transport Options for Commuters"

From the study:

It has been assumed that, in the United States, a commuter will not change her eating habits if she switches from driving to walking to work, given a reasonable walking distance and assuming sufficient nutrition is available.

Well, that's a ridiculous assumption.  There is certainly a correlation between calories expended and calories consumed.  We eat in response to our energy needs.  (Not necessarily 1:1, meaning that while overweight people will eat more when they do more exercise, the amount of extra calories consumed is often less than the extra amount burned, but they're still eating *some* amount more.)  The authors list the operating energy for biking or walking as "0", which makes their analysis essentially worthless.  Food energy input matters, because humans are very inefficient and converting food energy into work.  Bicycling is still more efficient than driving in most cases, but not nearly as much as the authors claim.  More in by Bicycling wastes Gas? article.

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#3 2011-09-26 23:56:04

rich00
Member
Registered: 2010-01-18
Posts: 166

Re: "A Life Cycle Assessment of Transport Options for Commuters"

I completely agree.

IMO, when you start riding more than 5 miles a day, things really start to move away from cycling as being efficient use of energy. 20 minutes of activity a day is a good thing for most people. 2 hours of cycling a day on the other hand will require a lot of food energy, and then factor in the energy required to cook that food, then the extra hot showers, and so on. This is why ebiking ranks equal (in general) to normal cycling efficiency. You can pedal lightly or coast and let the motor do most of the work. Yeah it's a motor and battery - but in comparison you get the most speed for the 'cost' with an ebike. A 10lb lithium iron phosphate battery (quite enviro friendly) will last 30,000 miles, the motor - indefinitely. You can go nearly the same speeds (with light pedaling) as a scooter or other gas transportation in the city, without any air pollution (and those 2 stroke scooters and motorcycles pollute a LOT). You're also safer in traffic since you rarely are moving slow like a normal bike on hills or just riding easy. An ebike will go 20 miles on the same electrical power it takes to cook a couple servings of pasta on the stove, or using your computer for two hours (pennies). You also can get places without being soaked in sweat.

Sorry about the ebike promo, I just LOVE riding mine, it is ridiculously fun for getting places. (I still put on my lycra and take out the roadie for my athletic interests).

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