Forbes: Peak Car?

Forbes: Peak Car?

Are the public moving away from cars? Eco-sentiment plays a role, but city transportation "by other means" seems to be gaining ground. Will Teslas be the last to go? ;)

olanmills | February 3, 2013

I think more like "plateau" car. Americans love cars. And they should. Because they're awesome.

Yeah, we'll eventually run against limits of practicality/cost when it comes to how much road/intersection/parking etc capacity we can have.

That said, there's still space in America to have new big metropolises if the right circumstances formed. I think there's still a lot of room for more population and more cities, which means more cars and more car carrying capacity.

"Peak" car implies that we'll hit some maximum sales of cars and then it will eventually all drain away, like when we talk about "peak" oil. So I say "plateau" car, because unless we have some major cultural shift, there will always be some amount of cars that get thrown away each year and a need to purchase a certain amount of new cars each year.

The real problem will be for business, because in capitalism, we're always obsessed with growth, even when it doesn't make sense.

Brian H | February 4, 2013

There's the intersecting issue of population decline. The Low Band projection by the UN Population Survey is the one that's always accurate, and it projects Peak Pop by 2040, and steady decline thereafter. So demand per capita would have to increase to compensate. (3rd world demand would likely suffice; Bangladesh, e.g., is projected to match current UK living standards by 2100).

Benz | February 5, 2013

I can't see people moving away from their cars. Private transportation will always be the first choise, for people who can afford it.

Regarding the issue of population decline, peak by 2040? How many population will there be by 2040? Maybe 9 billion? Well, I can tell you this, if only 0.1% of them will be buying an EV, then that is almost a million EV's per year.

Brian H | February 5, 2013

No. 8bn, or slightly less. Has little to do with the EV market.

Benz | February 5, 2013

There are already more than 7 billion of us walking around on this planet, since March 12th, 2012.

And in 2045 that figure is going to rise to 9 billion.

Have a look at this website:

Brian H | February 5, 2013

Incorrect. The only projections that have ever been right are the UN Population Survey "Low Band". And the lower edge of the Low Band at that.

Go through the site and learn.

Benz | February 5, 2013


Your information is correct. I have checked the UN website, and according to them in 2040 there will be 8,096,725 humans on our planet. And in 2045 there will be 8,131,432 humans on our planet. These figures are according to their LOW variant.

lph | February 5, 2013

Indeed in some developed countries the population is already decreasing. Eventually this will happen to the world too.
However, this does not mean we can ignore the damage being done by over use of the farmland etc.

Fusion is always just 20 year away. I will believe it when it arrives. There are still huge issues to deal with even in the harvesting of the energy from fusion plants ... that is assuming that we can get them to be energy positive over long periods of time. Has not been done yet. Till then why not capture the energy from the biggest Fusion plant in our solar system.

Benz | February 5, 2013

What is Fusion doing in this thread?

Brian H | February 5, 2013

This is a "Peak Car" speculation thread. All sorts of things are "related"!

When peaks occur, newer and better substitutes are found. Peak Whales lead to burning oil instead of whale blubber. Peak woodlots lead to burning coal. So very few real "peaks" have occurred.

sandman | February 5, 2013

Just like data storage and computing capacity. We humans find a way to keeping doubling

holidayday | February 6, 2013

"Peak car" will happen when a replacement for tansportation happens.

This will be a while, unless transporter beam technology really takes a move forward.

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