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The Social Cost of Automotive Fuels (LPG, Diesel, Petrol)

We aim to give some insight into the financial and economical cost to society as a direct result of exhaust emissions from Petrol, Diesel and LPG engines. The financial costs are calculated based on city population sizes in the UK, and grams of pollutants emitted per 1000km travelled by each automotive vehicle fuel type. These figures relate directly to the economical costs in terms of health care expenditure. The results show the benefits that alternative fuels can offer to society as a whole, helping to reduce health problems such as Congestive heart failure, Respiratory problems and Bronchitis, which all relate to poor air quality. The report is based on findings from various sources including The Norfolk County Council alternative fuel trials, and the BeTa database report on social costs published by Netcen (AEA).

Automotive fuels are constantly taking blame and criticism from the Government as the main cause of poor air quality conditions in the UK. The levels of harmful gases in the environment are costing society financially, economically and physically. Most people are aware of the damaging effects that exhaust emissions have on air quality conditions, but what do these emissions cost to society in monetary terms?

Our analysis showed that the social cost of driving a vehicle varies significantly with the fuel type used. In a small town, Diesel results in social costs of 3.84 per 1,000km, petrol 1.04 and LPG 0.55p. In a large city, Diesel costs 32.70 per 1,000km, petrol 6.08 and LPG 2.33.

The cost of running alternative vehicles such as LPG cars is dramatically less than standard petrol and diesel vehicles and does not require higher maintenance levels. Further benefits include reduced engine noise, smoother vehicle running, exempt from congestion charges and low duty taxes. Having more vehicles running on LPG engine in the UK would assist in reducing emission costs to society while improving air quality.

Individuals and organisations that adopt the environmentally-friendly alternative automotive fuels and technologies are not only generating cost savings for themselves but also for the larger society.

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