Two Billion Cars – the Resource Intensity of Mobility

The post below highlights our failure to comprehend that it is is the Resource Intensity of Mobility RIoM that is the critical issue, not the ‘resource intensity of automobiles’

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Two Billion Cars: Coming Soon to Our Planet.

Dave R.  Founder and CEO of ClimatePath

Over the break I’ve been reading Daniel Sperling’s book Two Billion Cars, an exploration of how the planet can handle the two billion vehicles that will be in service by 2025.

Is this number inevitable? Sperling says yes: There are over a Billion vehicles today, and 2.4 Billion emerging consumers in China and Indian interested in ‘personal motorization’. He also points out that most automakers are focusing their efforts on building and conquering these new markets. His projections actually show roughly 1.2 Billion cars, another 500 Million trucks/buses, and 500 Million motorcycles and scooters, but the forecasted growth in each segment is still staggering and a little scary.

We clearly live in what Sperling and his co-author call a “gas-guzzler monoculture”. Only 2% of passenger travel in the U.S. is via public transportation, and even in Europe where fuel is expensive and trains plentiful, 80% of travel is via automobile. He calls this car-centric western lifestyle “an extravagant consumer of resources and producer of greenhouse gasses.” ………………..

……………..Unfortunately, he also sees a lot of this higher cost and regulatory action focused primairly on driving automobile and fuel innovation…hybrids, biofuels, lighter cars, and more. Clearly these are needed: the book compares a 1976 Honda accord (2000 pounds, 46 MPG) with a 2008 model (3600 pounds, 29 MPG)  to demonstrate the stagnation in innovation related to the resource intensity of automobiles. But two Billion vehicles? Isn’t there a better way for us to plan communities and get around?……………….

full article at http://digg.com/d11Eb0h

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