The Car: An Anatomical Journey (VIDEO)

I stumbled across this video that was posted on Hyundai's Web site that shows its 2010 Genesis being disassembled. Regardless of your opinion about cars, there's something fascinating about seeing all the parts there, lined up so neatly. Since I wrote yesterday about how pets pollute more than cars, my curiousity was piqued regarding just how much CO2 is emitted producing the average automobile, so I ventured to find out--and in so doing, discovered some other interesting facts about cars.
The information here is from a publication of the Science with Technology project, organized by The Association for Science Education and the Design and Technology Association of the UK.

The averages are based on vehicles in the UK
Weight of average car: 1000 Kg
Energy to make 1 Kg of steel: 5 kgCO2
Energy to make 1 kg of plastic: 24 kgCo2
Energy to make and assemble: 3003 kgCO2

What Makes Up a Car?
50% steel
19% cast iron
8% non-ferrous metals
7% plastics
6% rubber
3% glass
2% fluids
5% other

More facts about cars from BicycleUniverse:

  • The energy and resources needed to build one medium-sized car could produce 100 bicycles.

  • 95% of a car's energy goes towards moving the car itself, and only 5% to moving the passenger--vs. a 30-lb. bicycle: 83% of the energy goes towards transporting the rider, not the vehicle

  • Traffic congestion wastes three billion gallons of gas a year.

  • AAA of Minnesota puts the annual cost at $7,754 for 2003 for a vehicle driven 15,000 miles.

  • Thirty percent of morning traffic is caused by parents dropping their kids off at school.

  • Seven to twelve bicycles can park in one automobile parking space.

  • Biking accounts for 0.2% of all road miles traveled, and 1% of all trips in the U.S.

  • 41.4 million Americans rode a bike six times or more in 2002.

  • The design capacity for a freeway lane is roughly about 1,500 persons/hour.

  • Each fully loaded 18-wheeler does nearly as much damage to a roadway as 9,600 automobiles

  • The number of trips taken on foot has dropped 42% in the last 20 years.

  • On average, states spent just 55 cents per person of their federal transportation funds on pedestrian projects in the years studied, less than 1% of their total federal transportation dollars. Average spending on highways came to $72 per person.


More on Automobiles
EV1 Electric Car: Did it Suck or Not?
Sorry Detroit, Heavy Cars Are Not Safer
An Electric Car That Dives Underwater: The Rinspeed sQuba

Tags: Commuting | Energy | Transportation

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