Britpave: The British In-Situ Concrete Paving Association

Driving on Concrete Roads Saves Fuel

Brit 103 - 29th September 2008

Major research undertaken in Canada has proved that, compared to asphalt roads, driving on concrete roads delivers dramatic fuel savings.

Addressing the annual Britpave industry seminar to be held tomorrow (30th September), Tim Smith, Director, Transportation and Public Works, of the Cement and Concrete Association Canada, reported on a major independent study into fuel efficiency based on road pavements. The research, carried out by the National Research Council’s Centre for Surface Transportation Technology, examined the fuel consumption when driving on three different road types: asphalt, concrete and composite (asphalt top-coat over concrete).

The study involved an articulated lorry and passenger car being driven over concrete, asphalt and composite paved roads to determine if fuel savings could be attributed to any of the three different surfaces. The tests were conducted in winter, spring and summer and at two road speeds: 60 km/h and 100 km/h. The lorry was loaded to three different weights to establish their contributing factor to fuel consumption.

At 100 km/h, the lorry consumed up to 1.8% less fuel when travelling on a concrete road compared to an asphalt pavement and up to 3.1% less fuel compared to a composite pavement. When travelling at 60 km/h, the fuel saving was up to 3% compared to the asphalt road and up to 6% compared to the composite road.

For the passenger car, the concrete road fuel saving was 2.9% compared with the asphalt road pavement and a reduction of 2.3% fuel consumption compared to the composite pavement.

"The research proves that driving on concrete roads offer significant fuel savings compared to other road types", said Mr Smith. "The cleanest, most environmentally friendly fuel is not hydro, solar or wind power. It is fuel that is never used. In other words, conservation. Concrete roads offers this’ fuel’".