A leading UK engineer says the greenest cars on the market by 2020 will emit fewer harmful emissions per passenger than electric trains.
Autocar reports Richard Parry-Jones told a transportation conference in London that current industry targets put hybrid and plug-in cars on track to outperform the cleanest trains in the UK’s high-speed fleet.
The industry has its sights set on lowering vehicle tailpipe emissions to 40g/km CO2 by the end of the decade – a level that translates to fuel consumption of approximately 1.7 litres of petrol per 100km, or 1.5L/100km of diesel.
That level effectively drops to 25g/km per passenger when the average number of occupants per car (1.6) is taken into account.
The reduction in tailpipe emissions will be achieved through the increased take-up of electric vehicles and further advancements in plug-in, hybrid and internal combustion engine technology.
Ultra-fuel efficient vehicles are just around the corner. Late last year, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn confirmed his company would start small series production of a vehicle based on the XL1 concept (pictured) – a two-seater diesel plug-in that uses as little as 0.9L/100km on the combined cycle.
The Toyota Prius Plug-In, which is already available in the US, Japan and Europe, uses just 2.1L/100km of petrol on the official European cycle and emits 49g/km CO2.