‘Emissions from motor vehicles … have a severe impact on air quality and public health.’(1) Air pollution from vehicles has many health eﬀects including ‘cardio-vascular disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and diabetes,’(2) respiratory problems, allergic illnesses, pregnancy and birth problems, influence on male fertility, risk of death, cardiopulmonary problems, increased risk of heart attack, and changes in the autonomic nervous system.(3) ‘Idling vehicles suffer from less ventilation inside the vehicle leading to a toxic buildup of pollutants.’(4) Idling vehicles can create as much pollution as if they were moving.(5) Motorbikes and scooters often emit far more pollution than cars.(6) Children are particularly susceptible to the effects of pollution.(7) Many parents and school bus drivers idle their engines when they drop off and pick up their children from school creating pollution hot spots.(8)
Conclusion: Idling is a serious issue and it is especially important to stop idling around schools.
‘Idling for over 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more CO2 emissions than restarting your engine.’(9) ‘Every gallon of gas burned emits nearly 25 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases into the atmosphere.’(10) ‘A vehicle idling for five minutes produces more than a quarter kilogram (271.4 grams) of the greenhouse gases that are destabilizing our planet’s climate patterns.’(11)
Idling is noisy. Research indicates that traffic noise ‘harms the health and well-being of children,’(12) impacts work quality and bio-chemistry, and increases tension, blood pressure and pulse frequency.(13)
‘An idling car uses between 1/5 to 7/10 of a gallon of fuel an hour. An idling diesel truck burns approximately one gallon of fuel an hour.’(5)
In America it is estimated that reducing idling would generally save between US$70-650 (NT 1,824 – 19,761 as of January 2014 ) a year for one vehicle.(5) In the UK it is estimated that reduction of idling ‘could save businesses as much as £3.3 billion per year in fuel’ (NT 164.88 billion as of January 2014).(14) ‘Letting an engine idle actually does more damage to the engine than starting and stopping. Running an engine at low speed (idling) causes twice the wear on internal parts compared to driving at regular speeds, which can increase maintenance costs and shorten the life of the engine.’(15)
(1) Environmental Protection Agency in Taiwan. (2010). Control of mobile sources of air pollution (移動污染源管制). Retrieved 01/02/2014 from: http://www.epa.gov.tw/en/epashow.aspx?list=99&path=128&guid=8d668c67-e27f-4a96-ac41-323149899ff2&lang=en-us
(2) John Wargo, Ph.D., Linda Wargo, MES., Nancy Alderman, MES. (2006). (The Harmful Effects of Vehicle Exhaust. A Case for Policy Change.Environment & Human Health, Inc. Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www.ehhi.org/reports/exhaust/exhaust06.pdf (www.ehhi.org)
(3) Krzyzanowski, M., Kuna-Dibbert, B., & Schneider, J. (2005). Health effects of transport-related air pollution. WHO Europe. Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/74715/E86650.pdf
(4) Clean Air Network Briefing Paper on the Motor Vehicle Idling (FIXED PENALTY) Bill. (n.d.). Hong Kong Clean Air Network. Retrieved March 22, 2014, from http://www.hongkongcan.org/doclib/Briefing%20Paper%20on%20Motor%20Vehicle%20Idling%20(English).pdf
(5) Environmental Defense Fund. Attention drivers! Turn off your idling engines. Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www.edf.org/transportation/reports/idling
(6) Vasic, AM,& Weilenmann, M. (2005) Comparison of Real-World Emissions from Two-Wheelers and Passenger Cars. Environmental Science and Technology, 40 (1), 149–154. Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/7340852_Comparison_of_real-world_emissions_from_two-wheelers_and_passenger_cars
(7) Kleinman, MT. (2000). The Health Effects Of Air Pollution On Children.
South Coast Air Quality Management District. Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www.aqmd.gov/forstudents/health_effects_on_children.html
(8) United States Environmental Protection Agency. Idle Free Schools. Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www2.epa.gov/region8/idle-free-schools
(9) Government of Canada. Natural Resources Canada. (2013). Emission impacts resulting from vehicle idling. Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/node/4415
(10) Union of concerned scientists. (2014). 1 gallon of gas = 25 pounds of global warming emissions. Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/why-clean-cars/global-warming/
(11) Idle Facts Smog Summit.(n.d.). clean air partnership. Retrieved March 25, 2014, from: http://www.cleanairpartnership.org/idle/idlefree_appendices1to4.pdf
(12) Cornell University. (2001). Researchers Find Everyday Traffic Noise Harms The Health And Well-Being Of Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010523072445.htm
(13) Ising, H., Dienel, D., Günther, T., & Markert, B. (1980). Health effects of traffic noise. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 47(2), 179-190. Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7440003
(14) Fleet News. (2013). Engine idling costs businesses £3.3 billion in wasted fuel per year. Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/2013/8/21/engine-idling-costs-businesses-33-billion-in-wasted-fuel-per-year/48058/
(15) EPA New England. (2002). What You Should Know About Truck Engine Idling. Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/diesel/pdfs/Diesel_Factsheet_Truck_Idling.pdf
5 Reasons to STOP idling (The above text)
5 Reasons to STOP idling poster
Around schools: interweaving stop-idling campaigns with children’s education
Around the World
http://earthitude.com/ A great up and coming website by my friend Rey. Collection of resources, and a lot of eye-opening information on green living and saving the Earth. Take a look!
Free stickers and posters provided by the HK government: http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/air/prob_solutions/idling_publicity_materials.html
Stop idling technology:
Really important. Giving truckers a way to enjoy AC plus more without idling: http://www.idleair.com/
Hybrid refuse collection vehicles means HUGE savings in terms of money and people’s health: http://www.govtech.com/technology/Hybrid-Garbage-Miami-Dade-040511.html
The technology we desperately need as long as we keep using petrol vehicles:
The brilliant work in Taipei, Taiwan, by John Fleckenstein, Torch Pratt and others:
Government website: http://plan.chepb.gov.tw/idling/promotion.html
News article and video about anti-idling campaign in Taiwan: http://news.pts.org.tw/detail.php?NEENO=256337
Guide to greener driving: http://ecodriving.itri.org.tw/
Not directly about idling or Taiwan, but if you are thinking about buying a scooter (in Taiwan) then first read this:
The following copyright free images can be used in the classroom, either for colouring in and adding text or as a reference. Especially suitable for language, science, and art classes. Some text ideas are provided to help ‘kickstart’ the children’s inspiration. Hopefully they won’t be idle.
LPT* (Lightweight Portable Transport) is on the rise and so is the Earth’s temperature. The idea: Just take some roads and make them car-free. At first on weekends, using road blocks, and later perhaps keep them permanently car-free. Simple, cheap, effective, and completely reversible. The pictures below are of Taipei, but this idea could be used in almost any city.
What about the residents parking?
Residents would be given free parking nearby, compensation or special access to a side lane along the road on condition they drive below 5mph. Electronic ID could automatically open the gate or barrier if there is one.
What about all the cars that need the road to drive on? This just means the adjacent roads will become busier!
At first nearby roads may have more cars but if that happens then they will be less pleasant to drive along so less people will. Less pleasant car journeys and more pleasant LPT journeys may well mean that many drivers replace their cars with LPT for certain journeys decreasing the overall number of car journeys in the city. Another important point is that in the beginning nearby roads may also have less cyclists and others on LPT.
What about emergency service vehicles and delivery vehicles?
They would be given special access (electronic ID could automatically open the gate or barrier if there is one). It’s highly likely that small lightweight delivery vehicles would emerge rapidly.
I don’t believe this can be done. It’s just silly.
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” (George Bernard Shaw)
It already has been and is being done very successfully in many places all around the world. See HERE and HERE. The only addition here is to keep the road and devote it to LPT rather than just give it to pedestrians alone. As technology improves and transport tools become lighter, smaller, safer and more efficient, and as cities become taller and more densely populated this is just one of those things that will need to happen anyway because it makes sense. Let’s just make sure we do it right.
If you like this post then please share it with others!
*LPT (Lightweight Portable Transport) is a term coined by the Peacemaker Foundation meaning any transport tool that is small and light enough to be carried or moved by hand. Examples are bikes, skateboards, rollerskates, scooters, electric wheels (Eucs), self balancing foot scooters (Hoverboards) and Segways.
New terminology suggested by the Peacemaker Foundation
The new inventions are great, but our names for them are not. Here are some suggested names:
Electric wheel or eWheel (electric self balancing “unicycle” such as the Solowheel)
Electric Foot Scooter (Self-balancing Dual Motor Electric Foot Scooter such as Hovertrax)
LPT (Lightweight Portable/Personal Transport: transport involving devices that can be easily carried)
Transportable (Portable transport tool)
If you can think of better names then please comment or get in touch.
Viewable PDF format
Word File: Electric Wheels Compared (February 2015)
Gold medal: Solowheel Orbit and Solowheel Extreme each are the winners in three categories, but they are also the most expensive.
Silver medal: Firewheel and Rockwheel also do quite well with each one winning in two categories. Hovertrax wins two categories as well but loses in four – just depends which categories are more important for you.
Bronze medal: What do you reckon? Perhaps Freeman A4.
Update: Recently a very promising and popular eWheel has been the Gotway which will certainly appear in the next edition of this table.
Personally I like the electric foot scooters because they’re easier to learn (apparently) so I bought Hovertrax which is great fun and very well built although it lacks stability at speed and only works well on smooth surfaces. If you have enough money and you value patent ethics you might wish to buy from Inventist seeing as they hold the patents. Furthermore, as of January 2015 the Solowheels generally gets the best reviews, such as on Amazon.
I’ve looked around so you don’t have to. Here are some links to some great videos.
Fantastic review of Solowheel, Hovertrax, Phunkeeduck & the zBoard Pro. Also shows how important it is to ride carefully!
Fun advert for the solowheel
The Solowheel in London
Fun advert for Ninebot 1
Super slick super cool ad for Ninebot 1
Fun advert for IPS F400
Airwheel Mail Delivery
More Airwheel stunts
Foot Scooter videos
Chic-smart video from Korea