: 1.25 billion vehicles by 2015

04-24-2009, 12:12 AM
You gotta love progress. Global warming aside, we are looking at some mighty high oil world demand.


Environmental concerns spark all variety of debate and the hottest topic at the moment is Global Warming and CO2 emissions. Some of us believe that our requirement for energy is the root cause of increasing CO2 levels and others believe it would be happening anyway and is a process the earth has undergone before in its history.

As always, it is human nature to find an easy target as a scapegoat and the car (once again) seems to be a good place to point the finger. Now, the car certainly contributes its share of CO2 but it’s not a patch on industry or even nature for that matter, but it is an easy and perennially popular target.

So, as manufacturers worldwide turn to clean diesels, hybrids, bio-fuels and hydrogen in order to reduce emissions and reliance on fossil fuels and comply with tightening legislation, comes the news that despite record high oil prices the World’s car fleet is expanding and is expected to hit the billion mark by the end of this decade. What’s more, it is then expected to increase a further 20 percent in the following five years!

So, where does that leave our war against CO2? It is expected that most of this growth will take place in the developing world as the traditional markets such as Eastern Europe, Asia and North America reach saturation point, markets such as China and India are just getting into gear. So, it won’t be expensive hybrids or clean diesels that are being sold by the million, it will be cars such as Tata’s new Nano Minicar, sold to folk whose last set of wheels was a donkey and a cart or a humble push-bike.

So as oil becomes prohibitively expensive and Global Warming threatens our very existence (according to many) manufacturers gear up to make the basic petrol burning car available to the half of the World’s population who don’t yet have one. Now, I’m not against decent transport for anyone and am the first to admit they I wouldn’t want to surrender the car keys, hell, I like cars so much I write about them daily – but it seems to me that all of the good work being put into cleaner cars in developed countries will be dwarfed by the rest of the World’s requirement for basic fossil fueled transport.

It’s a mad world…