Wednesday, May 24, 2006


From Green Car Congress:
The per-capita car ownership ratio in China will increase by 67% to 40 cars for every 1,000 citizens by 2010 from the current 24, according to a report by Chinanews. By contrast, the US has 765 vehicles per 1,000 (2002 data), while Europe (including the FSU countries) has an average of about 300 vehicles per 1,000. (UNECE).
I wonder what the numbers are when you exclude the FSU countries. This PDF does show that Germany - probably the closest to the US in terms of wealth - has fewer cars than the US, per 1000 people. In fact, I'd wager this understates the case - the German lower class is much better off than the American lower class, but car ownership doesn't seem to increase.

My theory is that German cities are more accessible by foot, bike, and mass transit, but I've never been so who knows.


adam said...

German cities are vastly more accessible by non-car transportation. The cores, like most European cities, are dense.

Public transportation networks are more extensive, and are well organized (not cheap, but I think more or less on-par with most N.A. cities I've been in while offering better service). Munich, for example, has half of Toronto's population, but has 8 U-Bahn (subway) and 8 S-Bahn (commuter train) lines, and that's just the "rapid" transit - there are many streetcar and bus routes as well.

There is also more support for bicycles in the traffic network, and far less theft (at least in my experience). I can certainly say that it's a much more common form of transportation than I've seen over here.

Westacular said...

In addition to what adam mentioned, German inter-city trains are fast, convenient, and probably the nicest trains in Europe (for the big stuff, like Munich to Berlin), and connect with smaller local trains to get you into almost any town.

Japan, meanwhile, is down at 350 per thousand.