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The Physics of Low Carbon Transportation

discs connected by points and lines


Speaker: Dr Robert Ian Taylor, CEng CPhys FInstP


Transportation is a major user of energy in the UK, and also a large emitter of CO2 emissions.


For the UK to meet its Net Zero aspirations, a number of options are being considered to decarbonize transport. Most visibly, there is a desire, by Government, to move to electric cars - which makes sense if the electricity supplied also comes from low carbon sources. For heavier duty vehicles (buses, trucks, off-road vehicles, airplanes, ships) electrification may not be the most practical option and in these cases the use of biofuels, hydrogen and other fuels are being considered. For short distances, electric bikes and scooters are also attractive alternatives.

In addition, in some UK cities, public transport can be an effective way to reduce CO2 emissions - for example, London is seen as a model city in terms of low CO2 emissions, primarily due to the large number of passengers using the Tube. The talk will focus on the physics of energy efficiency in vehicles, and the pros and cons of the different future options.