Benefit of Reduced Fuel Consumption from Economic and Environmental Perspectives – a Novel Approach

Paper by LARSSON ANDERSSON from ISCR 9th 2004 Instanbul Turkey

Road traffic now represents one of the major sources of environmentally and hygienically harmful emissions. A reduction of the total quantity of traffic-related emissions would therefore yield great environmental benefits. A number of independent studies have demonstrated that the properties of the road, such as surface texture and rigidity, affect the fuel consumption of vehicles. The economic and environmental benefits of vehicles travelling on roads that have fuel consumption reducing properties are calculated in this study. A model has been developed for quantifying the benefits from the national economy aspect, and life cycle analysis (LCA) is used for calculating the reduced environmental impact. The results demonstrate that a seemingly small reduction in the fuel consumption of the vehicle leads to major national economy and environmental benefits. A reduction of 1% yields a national economy benefit corresponding to EURO 260–690 thousand (SEK 2.3 – 6.2 million) per km of motorway over a period of 40 years. The higher value is based on a valuation in accordance with the EPS method and corresponds to 60 percent of the total cost for construction and maintenance of 1 km of asphalt or concrete road structure over 40 years. If local effects are considered according to the SIKA method the national economy benefits increases considerable. So it is an important conclusion that properties such as surface texture and rigidity must be taken into account during the project design of roads in order to ensure a design that reduces the fuel consumption of vehicles and thereby contributes to reduced environmental impact.

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