In a new initiative to reduce air pollution, the Seoul City Government has decided to install heating devices on taxi that can work even when the engine is turned off.
Taxi drivers spend an average of four hours or more per day waiting for passengers. While they wait, the drivers usually leave their cars running to keep themselves warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
According to Seoul City, idling taxis are a significant contributor to pollution. Air pollutants originating from cars represent 63 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions.
Data compiled by the Korea Energy Management Corporation shows that when cars with 1500cc engines idle for five minutes, 90g of CO2 is emitted. Furthermore, 100cc of fuel, which can propel the car up to 1.2km, is wasted.
To tackle this problem, the Seoul City made a device last year that can gather up to 90 degrees of heat from a coolant system in the engine while the car is running. This gathered heat can later be used for heating the car when the engine is turned off.
The heating device is composed of an engine hour meter, a circulating pump, and an auxiliary battery.
The device was installed on a test taxi for the month of December last year as an experiment. After turning off the engine and circulating water up to 90 degrees, the time necessary for the temperature inside the taxi to drop to 36.5 degrees was measured.
The results indicated that the car could be heated for over 35 minutes. After using the device for 99.2 hours, the car saved 118.8L of fuel, or $120.36. That is not all. It was also possible to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions by 106 kg.
Currently, 700,000 taxis are operating in Seoul. If all these taxis installed and used the device for four hours per day running to six months, the collective savings would amount to $61.2 million. As an added incentive the project will help the city save a total of $1.6 million from a reduction in CO2 emissions.
Image credits: Chu via Wikimedia Commons