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Has Europe Attained “Peak-Car” Status?

Europe appears to be exhibiting a phenomenon dubbed as “car-peak” by Morgan Stanley researchers. This phenomenon is the decline of car usage, which can also cause a decline in car demand.

There are multiple possible causes for such decline, including culture changes, high gasoline prices, economic hardship, increased environmental awareness, population decline, and severe traffic congestion.

As for causes that may apply specifically to Europe:

There has been population decline in Europe, high gasoline prices, increased environmental awareness, and in certain areas — such as London — severe traffic congestion.

Environmental awareness has increased in many parts of Europe, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and other countries.

Increased environmental awareness does encourage some people to drive less, and travel by foot, bicycle, or public transit more often.

In 2007, 16 million cars were registered in the European Union, however, that many registrations is unlikely to happen again, and may instead drop down to 11 million registrations, which is equivalent to that of 1993 before the number of registrations stabilizes.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:


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