5. Efficiency of Transport Modes

Carbon Account For Transport Volume 9, 2017

5. Efficiency of Transport Modes

The efficiency of different transport modes can be compared when measured in terms of CO2e per passenger kilometre (ppkm). These measures provide another means of considering transport emissions. Figure 18 is compiled from data published in the UK Company Reporting Guidelines[18].

  • Coach is the least emitting means of travel per passenger kilometre, followed by rail.
  • The most emitting mode of travel is domestic aviation, at 141 g CO2e/ppkm (per passenger kilometre).
  • Most modes have seen significant improvements in emissions per passenger kilometre in recent years, notably in rail and in domestic and short haul international aviation.
Figure 18: Emissions per Passenger Kilometre of Selected Transport Modes


gCO2e/ppkm
Sector Mode and fuel 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 % Change 2012-2017
Road Average petrol car 134 131 128 127 128 124 -7.4%
Average diesel car 124 121 123 121 122 119 -3.7%
Average petrol hybrid car 89 87 89 85 88 79 -11.4%
Average petrol motorbike 119 119 120 120 120 117 -2.0%
Average bus 112 112 109 109 102 103 -8.4%
Average coach 29 29 29 29 29 28 -3.3%
Rail National rail 58 49 47 45 49 47 -19.6%
Light rail and tram 68 60 62 55 54 44 -34.2%
Ferry (Large RoPax) Average foot and car passengers 116 116 116 116 116 116 0.0%
Aviation Average domestic flights 180 173 155 158 147 141 -21.4%
Average short haul international 104 102 88 90 89 85 -18.0%
Average long haul international 119 120 111 105 101 104 -12.1%

Source: UK Company Reporting Guidelines