Green Transportation

Moving toward a transportation system that fuels healthy people and a healthy planet.

Add to My MSN

To Moped Or Not To Moped...

9/19/2008 3:46:29 PM

Tags: mopeds, vehicles, emissions

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years (which, admittedly, becomes more enticing everyday), you’ve probably seen a moped cruising around your city streets. As a college student, I encounter/dodge at least five every day on campus. The scariest part is that you can hear them coming before you see them, and I unfailingly always look for them in the wrong direction.

This European vehicle started to hit U.S. streets fairly recently, and on the surface, mopeds seem to be a promising move toward less gasoline consumption and CO2 emissions — I’ve certainly coveted them on days they don’t run me over. But I’ve always wondered whether or not mopeds really are better for the environment, so I did some research.

Turns out, there are plenty of moped Web sites that herald mopeds as a new alternative form of transportation that reduces the rider’s carbon footprint and dependence on oil. While I think the idea of mopeds requiring less gasoline is pretty indisputable, the carbon footprint aspect is a tad more ambiguous.

From what I’ve found, there have only been two studies on the environmental impact of mopeds as compared to the emissions of conventional cars – and the results weren’t so promising.

In a study at the University of Denmark, mopeds were found to contribute more to Denmark’s pollution than typical cars. The results show that two-wheelers emit high amounts of hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. The study also indicated that using fuel with ethanol makes insignificant change in the amount of emissions.

However, like I said, this was essentially the only information I’ve found on the subject, so I’m not really sure what to think.

Have you heard something I haven’t? What do you think of mopeds? Let me know below.

Content Tools

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.

(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here