Transportation energy use refers to the end use energy consumed by all components in the transportation sector – the production, operation, and decommissioning of all vehicles and infrastructure. This contributes to a sector’s total final consumption, which is a measure of all the energy they are consuming.
Transportation can use energy in many different ways; most dominantly running cars and other vehicles by burning fuel, but also in the production of the vehicles themselves, and the creation of roads, airports, sea ports, and pipelines.
A large portion of fuel used for transportation comes from fossil fuels. This is concerning due to its contribution to pollution and global warming from using them. The transportation sector has the fastest growing carbon emissions of any sector, with approx 67 million new cars being produced each year. Although improving fuel economy and the use of “greener” vehicles (ex. hybrid cars and electric vehicles) can reduce CO2 emissions, these vehicles still have associated emissions due their production and the electricity used to fuel them (green electricity).
Sustainable transport is key to a green energy transition, seeing that it is an area that represents a large part of the total consumption of fossil energy. The transport system in a country is depending on climate, demography, economy, topography, culture, gender, health, and a number of other factors. Understanding how peoples’ everyday lives are organised and which possibilities a transition to more sustainable modes of transport can represent is central in the green shift.