CRRI calculates fuel - wastage cost

Date: Apr 6, 2017

NEW DELHI: Idling vehicles at traffic intersections wasting fuel is nothing new, but for the first time a study by Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), under Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has quantified the fuel wastage in monetary terms. The pilot study also shows reduction in CO2 and NOx emissions after vehicles were switched off.

"The aim was to quantify the total amount of fuel lost by idling vehicles during the red phase at signalised intersections," said Dr Purnima Parida of CSIR-CRRI.

The study was conducted at the behest of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) at Bhikaji Cama Place intersection in phases — before an awareness campaign against idling vehicles, during the campaign and after. "The study was commissioned to explore means of conserving the fast depleting reserves," said Dr Mukti  Advani. This intersection has at-grade traffic of 1.03 lakh.

The "before" phase was assessed without any intervention after which a weeklong rigorous awareness campaign was undertaken. "A switching off behaviour assessment survey was conducted during the campaign. An "after" assessment was done seven days after the campaign got over," said Parida.

The fuel savings in monetary terms shot up when engines were switched off. "The estimated fuel savings was Rs 17,368 when 62.33% of vehicles switched off at the intersection. It dropped to Rs 13,518 when 52.88% switched off," said Parida. Before the study, only 19.96% of vehicles would switch off at the intersection, said Advani, leading to fuel savings of only Rs 5,499.

There was also a reduction in the CO2 load at the intersection in the "during" and "after" stages. "Before the awareness campaign, the CO2 load reduction was 280.23 kg per day. This shot up to 893.38 kg per day during the campaign and came down to 689.03 kg per day afterwards," said Parida. Similarly, the levels NOx and CO emissions also dropped during the primary phase of the campaign.

Advani said the findings would go a long way not only in helping change traffic behaviour, but also in devising ways to mitigate the wastage of fuel at intersections. The data collected during the study including classified traffic volume counts, delay studies, switching-off behaviour observations, fuel consumption and emission levels.