Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Peak Fact or Fiction: University of Michigan Studies Find US Reached "Peak Car" In 2004-2005

Let's talk "Peak Car." Evidence gathered by researchers at the University of Michigan is growing that the number and use of light vehicles peaked in 2004.

Here is what Michael Sivak, one of the researchers, states:

"The findings of the present study indicate that the corresponding rates for fuel consumed also reached their maxima during [2003-2004]. Thus, the combined evidence from these three studies indicates that -- per person, per driver, and per household -- we now have fewer light-duty vehicles, we drive each of them less, and we consume less fuel than in the past..."

Though the number and use of light vehicles has declined since 2004, Sivak is actually not saying that either the number or use of cars will never exceed the 2004 peak. Never or forever is a really long time.

But important changes in ownership rates, living patterns, fuel efficiency have produced now nearly a decade of declining vehicle numbers and gasoline usage. That's both remarkable and important.

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