Driving: The road less travelled – The Economist magazine

CRAZY…IN TIME TO COME.

Driving: The road less travelled

Car use is peaking in the rich world. Governments should take advantage of that

Sep 22nd 2012 – Economist Magazine

IN 1888 Bertha Benz, wife of the carmaker Karl, drove 66 miles from one German city to another to prove to the world that the “horseless carriage” was suited to everyday use. Mrs Benz succeeded beyond her wildest dreams.

Modern life is unimaginable without the car. The automobile has powered the growth of cities and steered their sprawl. Its manufacture has created millions of jobs and eased the development of many millions more. In rich countries, 70% of journeys are now by car. More than a billion cars now roll on the world’s roads.

Measured globally, car use will go on rising, for as people in emerging markets get rich, they want the mobility and status that car-ownership offers. But in the rich world the decades-long link between rising incomes and car use has been severed (see article), and miles driven per person have been falling. That is partly because of recession and high oil prices, but the trend pre-dates 2007. Other, longer-term, factors are at work. One is generational: car-ownership is reaching saturation.   [Read more]

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One response to this post.

  1. Interesting developments. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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