Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Population Of Vehicles

China now has over 255 million vehicles on its roads.  130 million of the vehicles are private cars.  The other vehicles are trucks and busses.  The US has almost the same number of total vehicles but has far fewer busses and has more private cars and small trucks.   Next year China will overtake the US in the total number of vehicles on the road.  China sold just over 20 million vehicles last year of which 15 million were private cars.  The US has car and small truck sales of 15.6 million in 2013.   Our scrapping rate is approximately 13.5 million vehicles a year and China’s scraps less than 10 million vehicles a year.

OK all the data show that China will overtake the US and the leading internal combustion engine nation.   Dr. P. can be happy that the US has the largest fleet of plug in vehicles in the world and that the Chinese market for these expensive toys is much smaller than ours.   The Chinese government gives buyers of plug in a little more of a gift than the US does but Chinese consumers know the ICE is the economic alternate and have shied away from plug ins.

Last year 95,921 plug in were sold in the US.  95,881 if you leave out the Coda Blues and the Flopping Fiskers.  This is more than 6 times as much as the amount sold in China.   The US government (we the people) forked out $609,065,450 in tax rebates to the owners of these plug ins.   Dr. P and Mr. J will get $7,500 of your money each.   Before you multiply 95,881 by $7,500 and comment that my math is wrong some of the plug ins with smaller battery packs get less tax credit that $7,500.

The very sad truth is that there simply are too many vehicles on the road and countries like China will consume more and more energy to propel all these vehicles.  Of course this points to a problem with deploying so many internal combustion engines in such large measure all over the planet.   It does look like we had all better focus on a global agreement on energy usage and emissions.

The developing economies of China and Brazil for example have demanded from the US and the Europeans that they want an accounting of CO2 emissions going back to the start of the industrial revolution as the basis for the global agreements going forward.  The US and the Europeans have told the non OECD countries forget it.   Ford and GM as well as the European vehicle companies particularly VW have enjoyed great sales of vehicles in China so they want the motorization of the public to continue.  

China issued 26 million new drivers licenses in 2013.   I simply got my expiring license renewed on-line through the California DMV web site.  I have no plans of giving up driving just because great grandpa drove a Model T in 1913 and the Brazilians think this did them an injustice.  My view is we are all in this together and we all need to use fuel sparingly.  I drive few miles each year, I only heat certain rooms of the house which itself is small, and I try to educate lay people to be greener.  

Please comment on this post as we need folks to suggest a path forward as 85 million new cars, trucks and busses will be produced and sold worldwide in 2014.  In 1960 there were a total of 127 million registered vehicles worldwide.  I sure did like the 1959 Chev Impala. 65,800 of the Convertible Chev Impalas were sold in 1959.  No one gave a hoot about CO2 in 1959.  No one ever thought China would overtake the US in anything.