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UC Davis ITS study concludes future annual growth rate of China’s vehicle parc may be double current forecasts

Yunshi Wang, Jacob Teter and Daniel Sperling from the University of California Davis Institute of Transportation Studies report that the growth rate of China’s vehicle population could reach 13-17% per year—roughly twice the 6-11% widely forecast for annual growth. Their analysis is published in the journal Energy Policy.

Wang et al. analyzed the historical vehicle growth patterns of seven of the largest vehicle producing countries at comparable times in their motorization history, and estimated vehicle growth rates for this analogous group of countries at 13–17% per year then.

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.

—Wang et al.

Motorization, the authors note, is occurring quickly across all regions in China, not just the richer coastal areas.


  • Yunshi Wang, Jacob Teter and Daniel Sperling (2011) China’s soaring vehicle population: Even greater than forecasted? Energy Policy doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.03.020



This is still about halt the current growth rate.

It may even be higher after lower cost electrified vehicles take off.


This helps quantify the demand curve projections when OPEC produces the same amount of oil that they did 30 years ago at 6 time the price.

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