Petrol and diesel drivers in London have highest fuel consumption rate

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New research from TomTom revealed that London ranked first globally for the highest consumption per mile driven by typical petrol and diesel cars in 2022. For an average 10 mile trip across London, petrol-run vehicles consumed an average of 1.47 litres to complete the trip in 2022, which is a 2.5 percent consumption increase compared to 2021. 

Meanwhile, diesel-run vehicles consumed 1.27 litres for every ten-mile journey across London, which is also a 2.5 percent year-on-year consumption increase. 

The impact of traffic jams on fuel consumption is also an important factor in the increase of emissions in London in particular. 

On average, in 2022, it took 36 minutes and 20 seconds to drive 10km in London, an increase of one minute and 50 seconds in 2021.

For Londoners, the traffic data suggests they will spend 325 hours in rush hour traffic every year.

The fuel consumption of a gasoline-powered vehicle increased by 33 percent when driving through the city during rush hour.

This means 272kg of CO2 is released due to congestion for a six-mile trip driven at morning and evening peak hours, five days a week.

On the other hand, working from home for one day per week saved 219kg in CO2 in 2022. 

Following London was Bengaluru in India, Dublin, Japan’s Sapporo and Milan in Italy rounding out the five most congested cities.

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Surprisingly, major cities like San Diego, Detroit, Phoenix and Knoxville all took less than an average of 10 minutes to drive 10km.

Andy Marchant, traffic expert at TomTom, said: “Even though more than four in five vehicles already meet current UK emissions standards, the sheer volume of slow-moving traffic across UK cities, coupled with the UK’s antiquated road infrastructure, is having a significant impact on transport emissions.

“The ongoing train strikes heavily affected levels of traffic congestion, with commuters opting to use vehicles to get around cities in the absence of train services. 

“In London specifically, a lack of black cab drivers may also have prompted more drivers into the city.”

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TomTom’s Traffic Index showed that consumption of diesel and petrol per mile driven increased in 16 out of 25 UK cities in 2022 compared to 2021.  

A typical petrol vehicle in London that would have driven six miles twice a day at peak hours on workdays emitted an average of 1,094kg in CO2 emissions annually.

This is compared to 933kg of CO2 in Bristol, 885kg in Manchester, 763kg in Cardiff and 862kg in Edinburgh.

Diesel emissions were similar, based on the same parameters, with a vehicle in London emitting 1,030kg of CO2 in 2022.

Mr Marchant continued, saying: “With drivers in UK cities spending two percent longer stuck in slow-moving traffic last year compared to 2021, it’s inevitable that fuel consumption and CO2 emissions increased at the same time.

“Better traffic management based on real-time data intelligence is needed to ensure viable traffic flows and the efficient use of city infrastructure. 

“For public authorities in particular, location technologies will be a game changer for transforming how people move around UK cities, supporting our transition to less diesel and petrol consumption and more sustainable transportation.”

Of the 25 major cities monitored by TomTom, Preston, Portsmouth and Middlesbrough were found to have the shortest time to drive 10km, at just 11 minutes.

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