Although every car driver in any part of the world knows without special measurements that his car consumes much more in crowded city traffic than if he rolled unhindered on the road, but exactly how the demand for petrol changes depending on the switches and brakes, so far we didn’t read much. That is why we have been following closely the initiative of the West German postcard Quick in this regard. It is about making so-called “test” trips in different German cities. This foreign word, which is certainly no longer unknown to our readers, means trial, measurement, examination. It measured, in a validated way, how the possibilities of driving develop under different driving conditions and how the route affects the demand for petrol.
Experience, of course, indicates that the more traffic barriers, the higher the operating costs. This is a known fact, and whoever could have tried so far to avoid the crowded roads. We will now present the details of the recording instrument flag used for such measurements, in the following, in a rather literal reference to the instructive article and table published in Quick.
It’s a car test like never before. The Quick drove a mid-car – no matter what type – in ten major German cities, at noon and one o’clock in the evening. Always in the city center, where the traffic is heaviest. In the meantime, we used a lot of instruments to measure everything that costs money while driving, it means poison and work. We wanted to know where driving was the most expensive and where it was the cheapest. The result is surprising.
The Quick tester covered 3,400 miles. He was involved for a mile when he stepped on the brakes 17 times; it happened in the 60 minutes he covered a total of 9.4 km. Within that hour, it engaged 99 times for first gear, 52 times for second gear, 11 times for third gear, and never for fourth gear. He visited Munich city center from 5 pm to 6 pm. At 9.4 km, adorned with 50 traffic lights and police officers, the test car (converted to 100 km) consumed 20.8 liters of super gasoline. This was, so to speak, the “culmination” of our test journey through the ten German cities – or, more precisely, the city center.
The results were obtained as follows:
1. We have always driven the same car in all cities with a measured road consumption of 7.2 l / 100 km at a speed of 90 km / h.
2. The roads were dry in all cities.
3. All ten test routes were run at the same time, according to a stopwatch, twice for 1 h: at noon from 1 to 2 p.m., during the relatively calm period, and from 5 to 6 p.m., during peak hours.
4. The test route was determined with the help of transport specialists so that the station and the busiest point in each city fall into it.
5. The test route was traversed as many times as possible until 60 minutes had elapsed. The driver was the same all along.
6. We did not perform test trips on Saturday and Sunday.
7. Kienzle’s gauges recorded every clutch, every shift, every brake pedal pressure, every spent cubic cent of gasoline, every stop, every meter traveled.
The result can be read from the tables: Munich is hell for motorists, although Frankfurt, Cologne, Stuttgart and Hamburg are not much better either. This is not only reflected in the cost of petrol (which was calculated according to the price of different brands of petrol in each region). It also costs money for every pedal pressure, every switch: wear and tear! A lot of braking not only wears the inserts, but also the tires.
Berlin is a pure charity in this area. On a kilometer of road, the driver only had to brake 6.9 times in rush hour – and 17.2 times in Munich! Berlin was the “fastest” city at noon during the Quick Test (we did 28.4 km in 60 minutes), and even in the evening it turned out to be the second fastest after Heidelberg’s “small town”.
Of course, it should be noted that there are only 128 cars per 1,000 inhabitants in Berlin (224 in Frankfurt). But Berlin is a prime example of how traffic can be made continuous with modern road construction. This is also evidenced by the good data from Düsseldorf. Although two or three long-distance trucks are enough here even during rush hour, it can cause chaos.
The many good cuts in Heidelberg were surprising. Where one is waiting for narrow, crowded old town streets to come across fast street tunnels. So we achieved a record of 52 minutes of clear driving time and only 8 minutes of standing there in one hour. The absolute low point in this regard was found in Frankfurt: between 5pm and 6pm, our car only went 28.1 minutes, stood 31.9 minutes in front of traffic lights, or squeezed into serpentine lines. It is from these journey times and kilometers traveled that the total number of connections is higher in “fast” cities than in “slow ones”. The number of connections per kilometer tilts this appearance into place.
The result of a one-time test filled with data: downtowns are swallowing a driver’s money. This can be helped by parking spaces on the outskirts of the city center, public transport in the city centers, intersection-free high-roads. But the call: “Drive, avoid downtown!” Doesn’t help. How do you get there, or get over it when your business is urgent? Because time costs the car the same money as gasoline.
But let’s see how the situation developed in each city:
M Ü N C H E N
1,162,300 inhabitants, 240,519 cars. 207 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. The most expensive city for the car, not just in terms of gasoline costs. Petrol costs for the Quick test 1 km away: 11.13 Pfennig.
F R A N K F U R T
694,200 inhabitants, 155,492 cars. 224 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. It is the city with relatively most cars. In terms of pure petrol, it is as expensive as Munich. Petrol cost for 1 km: 11.13 Pf.
832,400 inhabitants, 156,083 cars. 187 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. A city of good southern values. Evening is worse. Petrol cost per km: 10.60 Pf.
S T U T T G A R T
640,500 inhabitants, 132,917 cars. 207 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. This city is the “average”. We would almost say it is normal. Petrol cost for 1 km: 10.26 Pf.
H A M B U R G
1,851,200 inhabitants, 275,880 cars. 149 cars per 1000 inhabitants. It is a city with relatively few cars, but only Frankfurt exceeds its southern values. Gas station cost per km: 10.03 Pf.
H A N N O V E R
572,900 inhabitants, 105,557 cars. 184 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. Modern design, roundabout with traffic lights: good results. Petrol cost for 1 km: 8.86 Pf.
B A M B E R G
73,900 inhabitants, 12,534 cars. 170 cars per 1000 inhabitants. It is only a medium-sized city, but more expensive than Berlin. Four telecommunication lines in the city center. Gas station cost per km: 8.71 Pf.
D Ü S S E L D O R F
704,000 inhabitants, 127,641 cars. 181 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. Big city with small town values: exemplary streets provide continuous traffic. Petrol cost for 1 km: 8.10 Pf.
B E R L I N
2,176,600 inhabitants, 279,950 cars. 128 cars per 1000 inhabitants. The largest city is the “fastest” and the second cheapest. Petrol cost for 1 km: 7.58 Pf.
H E I D E L B E R G
126,500 inhabitants, 22,939 cars. 181 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. Surprise: there are no crowded old town streets. The “cheapest” city. Petrol cost for 1 km: 6.40 Pf.
Source: Autó-Motor by www.automotor.hu.
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