The Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Cars and Vehicles
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has seen a rising trend in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990. Every gallon of gas used by motor vehicles causes the emission of 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other substances into the environment. While some of this comes from the production process for the fuel, most of it comes directly out of the tailpipes of vehicles. Concerned consumers might explore options for an online loan to finance a hybrid or electric car to replace a vehicle with an internal combustion engine.
Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, fluorinated gases, and other chemicals. Of the various substances in the environment, carbon dioxide is the most prevalent. Human activity is a significant source of greenhouse gases. As people drive, heat or cool their homes, and use electricity, these gases are produced and expelled into the environment. Over time, these gases are building up closer to Earth’s surface, which has a profound impact on the climate and overall air temperature.
- Greenhouse Gases: Carbon dioxide is one greenhouse gas that leads to trapped heat in Earth’s atmosphere.
- What Are Greenhouse Gases? Greenhouse gases allow the sun’s light to move into the atmosphere, but the gases trap the heat and lead to increased temperatures.
- Greenhouse Effect: Keeping the Balance: Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and more. While greenhouse gases serve a purpose, if they become too prevalent, they can also cause harm.
- Greenhouse Gases (PDF): The three main gases contained in Earth’s atmosphere are nitrogen, oxygen, and argon.
- Global Warming Is Hot Stuff: Heat trapped around Earth helps regulate temperatures so that plants and animals can survive. Scientists have begun to notice a trend of the temperature around the Earth rising.
- What Are Greenhouse Gases? Human activity contributes carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide to the atmosphere.
- The Greenhouse Effect and Greenhouse Gases: A rise in carbon dioxide beyond natural levels may be contributing to global warming.
- The Greenhouse Effect: Greenhouse effects help keep Earth at the correct temperature for plant and animal survival. However, human activity may be affecting this natural balance.
- What Are Greenhouse Gases? If no greenhouse gases were in Earth’s atmosphere, the temperature would be too cold to sustain life.
- Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change: Predictable weather patterns have begun showing signs of changing due to more heat being retained around Earth.
“Emissions” describes the pollutants that are given off into the environment. Sources can include motor vehicles, companies that use fuel, and power plants that produce energy. Government entities are seeking to regulate harmful emissions in an attempt to reduce them and protect the environment. For example, tailpipe emission standards set a specific maximum amount of chemicals that can come out of vehicle tailpipes.
- Regulated and Unregulated Exhaust Emissions Comparison for Three Tier-II Non-Road Diesel Engines Operating on Ethanol-Diesel Blends (PDF): This report explores exhaust emissions from non-road diesel engines that use a blend of ethanol and diesel fuel.
- Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation Model (PDF): GREET stands for Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation, a model that evaluates and compares energy use and environmental impacts of fuels used in transportation.
- Worldwide Emissions Standards (PDF): Explore exhaust standards and emissions to compare data from different countries.
- Untangling U.S. Vehicle Emissions Regulations: Learning about automotive emissions and regulations can be confusing for consumers, but this overview helps decipher some information.
- EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Existing Power Plants: The Environmental Protection Agency regulates greenhouse gas emissions occurring from power plants in an attempt to protect the environment.
- Regulatory Framework Air Emissions (PDF): Canada has instituted environmental regulations designed to limit air emissions.
- Utilities Disagree on How EPA Should Regulate Emissions: The Climate Action Plan sets standards for how new power plants will manage their emissions.
- Obama’s New Emission Rules: Will They Survive Challenges? The EPA wants to encourage power plants to use cleaner and renewable forms of energy instead of relying on coal for power.
- EPA Announces New Regulations on Methane Emissions: The EPA is targeting methane emissions, striving to cut them by up to 45 percent over the next decade.
- Tailpipe Emission Standards: Tailpipe emission standards set a specific amount of pollutants that vehicles can give off into the air.
Energy Use in Transportation
Because transportation is a significant part of total energy usage, governments are focusing on ways to reduce the way motor vehicles operate and the way people use them. Gasoline is the main type of transportation fuel. Recent estimates of the use of gasoline-ethanol fuel blends in the United States indicate that Americans use roughly 368 million gallons of gas each day. Using vehicles that run on alternative sources of fuel could reduce this number. If Americans used other modes of transportation, such as biking or walking, they could also reduce gas consumption.
- How We Use Energy: Transportation accounts for roughly 28 percent of America’s total energy usage each year.
- Transportation and Energy: Technological advances can improve performance while lowering energy consumption.
- Energy for Transportation: California statistics show that about 50 percent of energy consumed is used for transportation.
- Transportation and Energy Issues: The United States has about one-third of the total number of vehicles that exist worldwide.
- U.S. Energy Consumption by Transportation Sector: Explore the data contained in this table, which compares United States total energy consumption and transportation energy consumption between 1960 and 2015.
- Fossil Fuels: Oil is the main source of fuel for transportation around the world.
- Energy Efficiency in Transportation: Increased energy efficiency in transportation can enhance energy security and benefit the environment.
- Food for Fuel: The global economy includes many factors and industries, from transportation to online title lending. Manufacturers must move goods to where consumers can buy them, and then consumers must be able to get to the goods.
- Transportation Energy Choices: Recent estimates of California’s fuel use for transportation indicate that people in the state use more than 18 billion gallons of fuel each year.
- Updated Comparison of Energy Use and CO2 Emissions From Different Transportation Modes (PDF): Learn how different transportation methods compare in their environmental performance and fuel use.
Green Cars and Clean Energy
- How Green Are Electric Cars? Electric vehicles do not give off greenhouse gases into the environment as they operate. However, the electricity used to power these vehicles is often produced with fossil fuels.
- Designing an Iconic Green Car: Learn about the process of designing green cars by reviewing an interview with a Toyota researcher.
- Green Vehicles Switching Gears to Hydrogen: Explore the future of green cars by learning about hydrogen fuel cells, which can power batteries.
- Green Vehicle Guide (PDF): Compare cars that use petroleum, alternative fuels, or hybrids that use both to see which cars offer the best performance.
- Why Hybrid Cars Succeed Where Other Green Cars Fail (PDF): Hybrid cars offer consumers options for energy with the ability to limit the use of petroleum.
- Feasibility of Electric Cars Powered by Renewable Energy (PDF): Limitations of using electric cars make it challenging for consumers to choose this mode of transportation.
- Energy and Carbon: Electric vehicles reduce tailpipe emissions into the environment, which can save money on fuel expenses as well as reduce greenhouse gases.
- Will Electric Vehicles Really Reduce Pollution? The effectiveness of electric vehicles depends on the source of the electricity used to power them.
- Is the Electric Car Really Helping the Environment? Learn about the reality of electric vehicles by reading this comparison of the use of electric vehicles with internal combustion vehicles.
- The Future of Green Transportation: Green transportation not only involves electric vehicles. Other ways to travel in environmentally conscious ways include walking, bicycling, and using public transportation.