In the face of the ongoing sustainability debate and the often-cited detrimental effects of today’s transportation modes on our environment, we decided to bring more fact-based evidence to the discussion.
We collected as many available data points from reputable sources as possible to rank all of today’s major mobility types based on their estimated average carbon-emission output.
The results are shown in our latest infographic, ranking 22 types of transportation, ranging from walking and bike riding all the way to flying in an aircraft.
Planes beat cars
The most interesting takeaway: while airlines are currently in the focus of public discussion and often scapegoated as the primary CO2 pollutant of our planet, data shows that intercontinental long-haul flights produce fewer carbon emissions (per passenger and kilometer) than diesel and gasoline-based cars. The WallStreet Journal just recently confirmed these findings.
However, cars have a clear technological endgame in sight: electric vehicles. Electric cars already score much better and will likely further improve over the long term.
E-Kick-Scooters have a long way to go
All e-scooter companies have long marketed themselves as the most “environmentally friendly“ new urban-mobility mode. However, current data indicate that scooters are not as green as operators make us believe they are.
The main problem lies in the short lifespan of most first-generation scooters (around three months) and wasteful charging practices, which make up over 90% of the current carbon emissions generated. Fortunately, many scooter providers are putting lots of effort into solving these two major shortcomings in their current operating models (at least if we can trust their public announcements).
TIER Mobility is leading the pack
Berlin-based scooter provider TIER recently announced to implement removable batteries into their scooters, which will hopefully eliminate the insane practice of driving around in gasoline-based vans to collect, maintain, charge and distribute the scooters on the streets.
Furthermore, TIER claims that its latest scooter-hardware will last up to 24 months. Last but not least, the company committed to becoming carbon-neutral from 2020 onwards.