Transportation Greenhouse Emissions


To understand the percentage of contribution to greenhouse emissions made by cars versus trucks.

Early Findings

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, light duty vehicles contribute 59% of greenhouse emissions. Light duty vehicles are passenger cars and trucks weighing under 8,500 pounds.
  • Medium and heavy duty trucks contribute 23% of the greenhouse emissions. Medium and heavy duty are trucks weighing over 8,500 pounds.
  • There are about 261.5 passenger vehicles and heavy duty vehicles on the roads in the United States. Light duty passenger cars and trucks account for roughly 95.6% (250 million). Heavy duty vehicles account for about 4.4% (11.5 million). Therefore, 4.4% of the total number of vehicles contribute to 23% of greenhouse emissions.
  • According to the European Union, cars contribute 60.7% to greenhouse emissions, light duty trucks contribute 11.9%, and heavy duty trucks contribute 26.2%.
  • In the EU there are approximately 258 million vehicles on the road. Of those, 97.7% (252 million) are passenger vehicles and 2.3% (6 million) are trucks. Therefore, 2.3% of the total number of vehicles in Europe contribute at least 26.2% of greenhouse emissions.

Research proposal:

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