By , Sean Szymkowski
Published May 25, 2018
We'll state it upfront: it doesn't cost a lot to use turn signals, so drivers should absolutely take advantage of them. With that out of the way, the video above goes through an incredible amount of detail to show how much energy turn signals consume, and how much it costs drivers to activate them while driving.
The figures come from the amount of energy turn signals use and then calculated against the cost of gasoline in a particular part of the world. The video is incredibly in-depth, so we'll try to hit the highlights.
When activating blinkers, a driver will use 70 watts per hour. Obviously, turn signals aren't lit for an hour. Taking averages and accounting for traffic lights, a driver will apply the blinker for about five seconds. So, that brings the amount of energy to 0.08 watts for the five-second duration.
Mechanical energy from the internal combustion engine is turned into electrical energy via the alternator, which has an efficiency of 70 to 80 percent. Working through more equations in the video, we see the engine must burn 0.00005 liters of gasoline to produce 0.08 watts of electric energy for the turn signals to operate.
Great, so how much does that all cost? A whopping $0.00004 in the areas of the United States where a gallon of gasoline costs $2.80. The annual cost therefore is...$0.30. For those living in states where gasoline is cheaper (under $2.20 per gallon), the figure comes out to $0.21 per year.
The video jumps across the Atlantic to also describe prices in Europe. In the major European countries of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, it costs $0.57 for annual blinker usage. It's cheapest in Russia however where it costs only $0.26.
Grab a look at the entire explanation in the video above.