Projection of Chinese Motor Vehicle Growth, Oil Demand, and CO2 Emissions Through 2050

During this study a methodology was developed to project growth trends of the motor vehicle population and associated oil demand and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in China through 2050. In particular, the numbers of highway vehicles, motorcycles, and rural vehicles were projected under three scenarios of vehicle growth by following different patterns of motor vehicle growth in Europe and Asia. Projections showed that by 2030 China could have more highway vehicles than the United States has today. Three scenarios of vehicle fuel economy were also developed on the basis of current and future policy efforts to reduce vehicle fuel consumption in China and in developed countries. With the vehicle population projections and potential vehicle fuel economy data, it was projected that in 2050 China’s on-road vehicles could consume approximately 614 million to 1,016 million metric tons of oil (or 12.4 million to 20.6 million barrels per day) and emit 1.9 billion to 3.2 billion metric tons (or 2.1 billion to 3.5 billion tons) of CO2 each year. Although these projections by no means imply what will happen in the Chinese transportation sector by 2050, they do demonstrate that an uncontained growth in motor vehicles and only incremental efforts to improve fuel economy will certainly result in severe consequences for oil use and CO2 emissions in China.


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  • Accession Number: 01043485
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309113021
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 6:34PM