|You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.|
oday's motorcar has evolved from the horse-drawn carriage of old, by changing the horse for: first a steam engine, then, for a short while, an electrical engine and finally the gas-driven motor.|
There are a lot more horses under the hood than there used to be, but the car retains many of the fundamental characteristics of the horse-drawn carrige:
One can argue whether the horses really "polluted their surroundings", but big cities like New York and London used to have an army of people out in the streets every morning, before motorcars became common, clearing the streets from manure.
The population explosion will result in a doubling of the Earthīs population during the next 40 to 50 years (UN-statistics). But the car explosion is by far quicker! Because of the fast pace of world-wide urbanization, the population in the metropolitan areas will double in the next 30 to 40 years.|
An interesting observation:
We are, by now, 6 billion people on this earth. There are more than 600 million motor vehicles in the world (see statistics further down). That comes to 10 persons per vehicle. More than 500 million of these vehicles are ordinary motor cars, that each can seat at least 5 persons. There are at least 30 million buses, which each can take 50 persons on the average. So, there is space in our motor vehicles for 4 out of these 6 billion people! The day is probably not far off when there will be enough motor vehices for all of us!
|By reason of increased per capita car ownership, the amount of motor vehicles in the urban areas of the world will double in just 20 to 30 years (OECD-statistics). This doubling of the car park will require, in effect, the construction of as much roads and parking areas, etc. during these coming 20 - 30 years as we have today. Because of higher demands on traffic standards (such as traffic separation, heavier trucks), the cost of this doubling of traffic handling capacity will be considerably higher than hitherto. In the large metropolitan areas, where the lack of space requires the city planners to resort to building wide concrete bridges or tunnels with many lanes, the costs will increase dramatically.|
When people in for instance Eastern Europe and China buy cars, they will contribute to local, regional and global environmental threats at the same per capita-level as in the Industrial Western world.
The depletion of resources; land, material and energy, will increase dramatically. About 60 % of an increasing oil consumption will in 20 years time go to keeping our motor vehicles running (Statistics from IEA). The environmental pollution of air, water and land will take catastrophic proportions.
Read also the book "Asphalt Nation" by Jane Holtz Kay. Itīs a book to be recommended, especially to American readers.
The Motorcar Boom in China
Around the country, traffic accidents killed more than 104,000 people last year. Thatīs nearly 300 a day. The fatality rate in the United States is less than half that, even though the nation's traffic volume is far higher. Benbenzu drivers are a big part of the problem. In Shanghai, they were responsible last year for 33% of the city's traffic accidents. About the same proportion of those that resulted in death were attributed to the benbenzu.
It wasn't long ago that rush hour in China meant boulevards crammed with bicycles, and with very few four-wheelers in sight. Today, China is home to the world's fastest-growing automobile market. Motorcar sales have soared in the last few years, much thanks to falling prices and rising incomes. China last year became the world's third-largest car market, behind the U.S. and Japan. And most auto industry experts believe that it will surpass Japan and take over the No. 2 spot by year 2007. General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Rick Wagoner recently said China could become the world's largest car market within the next generation.
The growth rate is just staggering! Globally, automakers are happy to see annual sales growth in the 4% to 6% range. In China last year, it was 75%. Passenger vehicle sales have quadrupled since 1998. In 1990, the Chinese bought about 6,000 passenger cars, and most were sold to government agencies and high-ranking government and business figures.
In year 2003, Chinese consumers bought 2.1 million passenger vehicles, and about 70% of these were private purchases. The result of such torrid growth is a potentially overheating market, severe traffic congestion and worsening air quality for a country already considered one of the most polluted in the world. In the West, there is also reason to be worried that this development could further increase rising world energy prices, particurlarly oil prices. According to United Nation figures, if China's per-capita car ownership were to match that of the West, the nation would need to produce 650 million vehicles to meet demand and would consume more metal and oil than the world could supply.|
Number of Motor Vehicles in the whole World at the end of each Year
(from U.N.'s "Statistical Yearbook" of various years, and other sources)
|Year||Private Vehicles in Thousands||Commercial Vehicles in Thousands||Total in Thousands||Increase for the year in Thousands||Today (2003), there are more than 750 million motor vehicles in the world. At the end of year 2004, they are expected to number more than 770 million! This table shows how their numbers are steadily increasing, with about 12 million private vehicles and 3 - 4 million commercial vehicles every year. As shown in the corresponding diagram below, the increase is linear. But at a present increase of about 3 % a year, it more than stays abreast with the population growth.|
These figures are impressive: An increase of 15.48 million vehicles a year means 42 000 additional motor vehicles on the roads every day, worldwide.
...and where will the fuel come from?
Taking Sweden as a rather typical example of a developed country, the Stockholm Region Planning Authority (RTK) has estimated, that fuel cell road cars will be available to the general public from year 2004. But it will probably take until 2030 before half the road vehicles consist of fuel cell driven cars, mostly due to the fact that:
Nobody has so far estimated these costs, or suggested from where the energy to produce the hydrogen gas will come, when available fossile energy, now contributing with about 85 % to world energy consumption, will no longer be sufficient. Nor does it seem like any country (with the possible exception of Brazil) is prepared to make heavy investments in massive production of solar cells, which is the only possible answer. Some countries invest in windmills, but not enough.
|1981||335 102||96 977||432 079||28 319|
|1982||342 574||100 360||442 934||10 855|
|1983||351 354||104 991||456 345||13 411|
|1984||364 042||109 891||473 933||17 588|
|1985||373 667||115 165||488 832||14 899|
|1986||393 352||120 860||514 212||25 380|
|1987||395 129||124 037||519 166||4 954|
|1988||409 513||129 537||539 050||19 884|
|1989||422 240||133 831||556 071||17 021|
|1990||441 958||137 869||579 827||23 756|
|1991||445 742||139 575||585 317||5 490|
|1992||451 928||141 930||593 858||8 541|
|1993||458 489||146 501||604 990||11 132|
|1994||469 240||150 700||619 940||14 950|
|1995||480 810||154 501||635 311||15 371|
|1996||491 489||158 300||649 789||14 478|
|1997||502 209||163 700||665 909||16 120|
|1998||514 000||167 000||681 000||15 091|
|1999||524 000||171 000||695 000||14 000|
|2000||535 000||175 000||710 000||15 000|
|2001||546 000||179 000||725 000||15 000|
|2002||557 000||183 000||740 000||15 000|
|2003||568 000||188 000||756 000||16 000|
|2004 (proj)||580 000||192 000||772 000||16 000|
|About 400 million of the cars in the table above are to be found in the developed part of the world. But, in 10 years time (from 1995), the amount of motorcars in the developing countries will have grown from 100 million to an astounding estimate of about 800 million! In the OECD-countries,||the amount of motorcars will have grown to about 500 million during the same 10-year period. Most estimates point to roughly 1 000 million motorcars in the OECD-countries 25 years from 1995, that is to say, in the year 2020. We have used these estimates in our calculations below.|
The distribution of the World's motor vehicles is very uneven. In the USA there is 1 car for every 1.5 citizen, Sweden has 1 car for every 2 citizens, and places like China, India and Africa have 1 car for roughly every 700 inhabitants.|
As many of the developing countries, especially China, and the countries of the former communist world, manage to increase their standard of living, these divisions in living standards will be a strong force towards the global consumption of resources. The reason is, of course, that the population in these countries will buy cars in their striving to achieve western living standards.
At the present rate, mankind will double in number in about 40 - 50 years.
This corresponds to a yearly growth rate of 2 %.
Now, in the year 2004, 15 cities on the earth have more than 10 million inhabitants! Most of these 15 cities are in the developing countries. The population in the urban areas is expected to double within the next 30 - 40 years, corresponding to a yearly growth of about
On top of this, there will be a marked increase in car ownership per capita, unless something is done from the authorities to change this trend. These three effects on top of each other;||
the number of cars globally will double during the next 20 - 30 years!|
This means that the urban areas globally will see an increase in their traffic amounting to 4 % per year. This development is, of course, hypothetical. Lack of resources, fuel above all, will break this trend.
In the urban areas one can thus foresee an investment need during the next 20 - 30 years equal to the total investment in roads to date, from the beginning of this century! This applies if we are going to maintain the same standards on our roads as today.
If, on the other hand, we want a better road standard in for instance the industrial countries, Eastern Europe and in the cities of the developing countries, in the form of more bridges and tunnels, and taking into account the spreading out of the urban areas, even heavier investments will be required.|
Considering this enormous need for investments, the thought is close at hand, as to whether one should consider an alternative, more efficient transportation system.
Sweden has a comparatively small population; it will pass 9 million inhabitants in 2004 (about 0.15 % of the world's total) spread over a large area (about 3,0 % of the earth's total land area). The urban areas are rather small, on an international scale. 70 % of all transportation of people is done by motorcars. 20 % of the houshold budget is reserved for the family car, on an average. 70 % of all transportation of people in the urban areas is done with the motorcar.
These transports correspond to about 15 % of the Swedish GNP (roughly US $ 24 billion per year).|
Sweden alloted US $ 10 billion for road maintenance for the period 1995 - 2005. Yet, many roads in northern Sweden are now (2001) in a deplorable state, and need more money for maintenance.
Car enthusiasts imagine that families will have an electrically driven car for use in the urban traffic, and a hybrid car (which can run interchangeably on an electric battery and on regular fuel) for longer trips.|
Sweden will, during this same period, spend more than
Man has over the years experimented with and used 4 types of car engines;|
There have recently been many attempts at producing a viable, electric motorcar, and these attempts are still going on. The challenge is to make batteries with longer life and which can store more energy in relation to their weight. Another option is to develop fuel cell technology to the point where it would be viable for use in ordinary cars.|
You can read more about alternative fuels and ways to propel cars on this page.
In corporations, both balance sheets and income statements are used. The balance sheet describes the long-range changes regarding assets and debts. The income statement shows short-range revenues and expenditures.|
The beam-carried traffic contributes in a considerable less degree to this depletion of natural resources than today's transport systems.
|Copyright Đ 2004, SwedeTrack System.||Last Updated: 2007-01-17||This site is maintained by Johnson Consulting|