On the latest episode of Mythbusters, hosts, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman test whether or not bikes are greener than cars. According to the Discovery Channel, this is the first Mythbusters in the series’ history that has produced publishable scientific results from one of its tests. Normally, emissions tests are done while stationary but this is the first time that this type of test has been done on moving bikes in real world conditions.
Mythbusters revealed that while bikes use less fuel they couldn’t come close to matching them when it comes to exhaust emissions. Adam and Jamie tested three bikes and three cars from the 80s, 90s and 2000s to see how they compared for emissions over a 20-mile course.
Cars have added catalytic converters, exhaust gas recirculation, and other devices especially in America to adhere to the strict smog laws that have been in place since the 70’s.
Bikes have only recently been subjected to emissions control and they are relatively laid back. The most recent bike tested was from the 2000’s but the make and model was not disclosed so there was no way to judge what emissions limits it was designed to comply with.
The bikes won in the economical test and exuded less CO2. Unfortunately, the bikes failed when it came to other emissions, the worst being carbon monoxide and even the most modern bike pumped out more than 8000 percent more than the equivalent car.
Hopefully in a few years both bikes and cars will be fully equipped with anti-emissions technology, but until then you shouldn’t brag too much that your saving the planet by riding a bike. This myth has been busted.
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