The Role of the
Transporter (PT) in
and Energy Efficiency
In December 2001, renowned inventor Dean Kamen
unveiled the Segway® Personal Transporter
(PT). Since then the way society looks at transportation
has changed considerably. Fuel prices have
risen, there is a greater awareness of the damage
caused by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse
gas emissions, and environmental and political
forces have de-stabilised the global petroleum
The Segway PT can help reduce dependence on
foreign oil, use the existing energy supply more efficiently,
and reduce pollution. Drivers in the United
States take approximately 900 million car trips per
day. The EPA estimates that half of those trips are
less than five miles long and transport only one
passenger—trips perfectly suited to the Segway
PT. As there are many forms of powered transportation
available today, this paper seeks to compare
their relative impact on the environment, both in
emissions created and energy consumed.
The methods for computation are explained in
detail in the following sections, but let us first present
a summary of statistics regarding the relative
emissions output and energy efficiency of the
Segway PT compared to other well-known transportation
The Segway PT does not produce any emissions
during operation. Its batteries do consume electricity
during recharge, and we have used the emissions
created during the generation and delivery as
the basis of our analysis. By comparing this to the
emissions generated during the refinement, transportation
and combustion of automotive fuel, we
can compare the Segway PT to traditional internal
combustion engines. This analysis also allows us to
measure relative source fuel efficiency.
written By: John David Heinzmann and B. Michael Taylor,
Source: Segway Inc.
By John David Heinzmann and B. Michael Taylor,
John David Heinzmann, a Propulsion Engineer at Segway, Inc., holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical
Engineering. He began working at Segway and led the development of the power electronics to drive the wheel
motors of the Segway Personal Transporter.
B. Michael Taylor is a Product Manager at Segway Inc. He has been with Segway since 2001 and has led
product marketing efforts for the company’s Personal Transporters with a focus on urban commuting.
Segway® and the Segway ‘flyguy’ logo are registered trademarks of Segway Inc.
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