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China's soaring vehicle population: Even greater than forecasted?

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  • Wang, Yunshi
  • Teter, Jacob
  • Sperling, Daniel

Abstract

China's vehicle population is widely forecasted to grow 6-11% per year into the foreseeable future. Barring aggressive policy intervention or a collapse of the Chinese economy, we suggest that those forecasts are conservative. We analyze the historical vehicle growth patterns of seven of the largest vehicle producing countries at comparable times in their motorization history. We estimate vehicle growth rates for this analogous group of countries to have 13-17% per year--roughly twice the rate forecasted for China by others. Applying these higher growth rates to China results in the total vehicle fleet reaching considerably higher volumes than forecasted by others, implying far higher global oil use and carbon emissions than projected by the International Energy Agency and others.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Yunshi & Teter, Jacob & Sperling, Daniel, 2011. "China's soaring vehicle population: Even greater than forecasted?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3296-3306, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:6:p:3296-3306
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    12. Zhang, Hongjun & Chen, Wenying & Huang, Weilong, 2016. "TIMES modelling of transport sector in China and USA: Comparisons from a decarbonization perspective," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 1505-1514.
    13. Ou, Shiqi & Hao, Xu & Lin, Zhenhong & Wang, Hewu & Bouchard, Jessey & He, Xin & Przesmitzki, Steven & Wu, Zhixin & Zheng, Jihu & Lv, Renzhi & Qi, Liang & LaClair, Tim J., 2019. "Light-duty plug-in electric vehicles in China: An overview on the market and its comparisons to the United States," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 747-761.
    14. Gambhir, Ajay & Tse, Lawrence K.C. & Tong, Danlu & Martinez-Botas, Ricardo, 2015. "Reducing China’s road transport sector CO2 emissions to 2050: Technologies, costs and decomposition analysis," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 905-917.
    15. Liu, Wen & Lund, Henrik & Mathiesen, Brian Vad, 2013. "Modelling the transport system in China and evaluating the current strategies towards the sustainable transport development," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 347-357.
    16. Yuan, Jiahai & Xu, Yan & Hu, Zhaoguang, 2012. "Delivering power system transition in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 751-772.
    17. Ou, Shiqi & Lin, Zhenhong & He, Xin & Przesmitzki, Steven, 2018. "Estimation of vehicle home parking availability in China and quantification of its potential impacts on plug-in electric vehicle ownership cost," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 107-117.
    18. Yuan, Jiahai & Xu, Yan & Hu, Zhen & Yu, Zhongfu & Liu, Jiangyan & Hu, Zhaoguang & Xu, Ming, 2012. "Managing electric power system transition in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(8), pages 5660-5677.
    19. Wang, Renjie & Wu, Ye & Ke, Wenwei & Zhang, Shaojun & Zhou, Boya & Hao, Jiming, 2015. "Can propulsion and fuel diversity for the bus fleet achieve the win–win strategy of energy conservation and environmental protection?," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 92-103.
    20. Betz, Joachim, 2013. "The Reform of China's Energy Policies," GIGA Working Papers 216, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    21. Wu, Ye & Yang, Zhengdong & Lin, Bohong & Liu, Huan & Wang, Renjie & Zhou, Boya & Hao, Jiming, 2012. "Energy consumption and CO2 emission impacts of vehicle electrification in three developed regions of China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 537-550.
    22. He, Xiaoping & Jiang, Shuo, 2021. "Effects of vehicle purchase restrictions on urban air quality: Empirical study on cities in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 148(PB).

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