Stats Showing The Critical Need To Switch To EVs

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Following up on a multi-site discussion regarding the need for vs harm from EVs, Lindsay Wilson of Shrink That Footprint recently added a piece to the mix. As always, Lindsay was keen to pull in a lot of important stats.

Before moving on to some of Lindsay’s contributions, if you haven’t been following this discussion, here’s Lloyd’s initial, thoughtful piece, and here’s my follow-up article response + comment, much of which Lloyd was kind enough to share in a new post on TreeHugger. Lindsay was enjoying the discussion over the holidays and decided to contribute his own 2 cents+ to the discussion. I’m just going to highlight a handful of the useful stats, charts, and statements Lindsay put into that one. Have a look:

  • “If you are looking purely at the American experience the argument for a push away from cars is very strong. US car travel peaked in 2007 and vehicle miles travelled per capita fell 8% between 2005 and 2012.” Indeed — this is a trend many an urbanist and humanist is enthusiastic about!

  • “Over the period 2000-2009 Americans aged 16-34 travelled 23% fewer miles by car, cycled 24% more often, walked 16% more frequently and travelled 40% more miles by public transport. There is a summary in our generation twitter post.”
  • “Although this data supports a possible American push-back against the car, looking at the picture globally makes one less sanguine…. Demand from the burgeoning middle classes in places like China, India and Brazil underpins the continuing growth of car manufacturing globally.”

  • “In the wake of the global recession in 2008 and 2009 vehicle manufacturing has rebounded to 84 million in 2012.  Although I realize that the atmosphere can’t afford all these new cars I wouldn’t bet much on that curve flattening, much less dropping.”
  • “Using low carbon power electric car emissions are about a quarter of an inefficient gasoline car and half that of a top hybrid, that includes their considerable construction footprint.”
  • “As much as America can benefit from better, denser cities, it is also the place in the world where electric vehicles could make the biggest emissions difference quickly…. Americans drive more than everyone else. Consider this statistic for a second. In 2010 the total road passenger kilometers travelled in the US were greater than in China, India, Russia, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain and France combined. The American love affair with the car is truly mind-boggling!”
  • “In the visualization below I’ve mapped road passenger kilometres per capita from 2010 with data from the World Bank. It looks a little empty but if you hover over the map you’ll find data for 50 countries. In the top right you can go fullscreen.”

  • “In 2010 the average distance travelled by an American on roads was 22,081 passenger kilometres. This was 43% further than a typical Canadian, 60% more than an Australian, double that of a Britain and 20 times more than the Chinese average (remembering most don’t own cars).”

The amount of driving that goes on in the US and Canada is staggering. Even if we can cut a ton of that through culture change, urbanization, and good planning, that still leaves us with several tons of oil-based driving. That’s bad news for everyone, really bad news. So, we genuinely need the EV revolution that seems to finally be coming about.

But I think this line is also worth some reflection: “Like Zach I’ve lived in Holland and being able to compare it to my time in Australia and the UK I’m also quite evangelical about the superiority of cities which prioritize cycling and walking over cars.”

Frankly, as much as I love EVs and the benefits they bring, I wholeheartedly agree with Lindsay and Lloyd that cars are not good for cities or the people living in or visiting them. And I am indeed evangelical about this when given the opportunity. The quality of life is just too much greater to neglect sharing that information with others.

For more, head on over and read Lindsay’s full piece.

Check out more of our EV stories on our EV channel. Keep an eye on all of our EV stories by subscribing to our EV newsletter or overall cleantech newsletter.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Zachary Shahan has 7136 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan

4 thoughts on “Stats Showing The Critical Need To Switch To EVs

  • While it is true that better designed cities should be less car friendly. But that will take time. There will still be a lot of cars sold in the next 30 years.

    • Cars will likely become more city friendly.

      EVs will mean no more ICEV pollution and noise.

      Self-driving cars will eliminate parking problems because riders can get out at their destination and the car can go many blocks away from the crowded center to park.

      Self-driving cars will mean vastly safer streets for pedestrians and bike riders.

      Self-driving cars will also mean a mellower population. No people suffering from the stress of bumper to bumper driving and all the road rage stuff that comes from that.

  • Cities can only become less car friendly when there is an alternative like public transportation. Living in the North-Rhine Westfalia part of Germany, I prefer to take the train into, say, Cologne, rather than driving. If that option wasn’t available, I would have to put up with the traffic and parking prices.

Comments are closed.