Advances in research and technology challenge assumptions that trains are automatically greener than transport by road.
Almost universally accepted by business, and rarely challenged, is the received wisdom that rail transportation is greener than travel by road. But does this assertion still hold true?
This is no mere academic pursuit. Transportation is one of the fastest growing contributors to climate change, accounting for around a quarter of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Many experts foresee a five-fold increase in transport-related CO2 by 2030 in Asia alone.
In India, annual vehicle production has rocketed by 110% over the past six years. Production lines churned out 20.4m vehicles in 2012, compared to just 9.7m in 2006. In China, the world’s second largest economy, the vehicle population is set to soar to about 300m by 2030, from 65m in 2010.
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