An accurate count of the total number of cars on the planet is impossible, but their number is growing rapidly.
According to analysts of this industry, the total number of cars has exceeded 1 billion, of which passenger cars account for 95 percent of the total volume.
The total number of new car sales per year is more than 80 million, but research suggests that annual sales could grow to 127 million by 2035, bringing the total number of cars in the world to 2 billion or more. But, only 2.5 percent of them will be battery-powered, hybrid or fuel cell—powered – the rest will run on gasoline or diesel fuel.
The calculations included passenger cars, medium and heavy trucks and buses, but did not include agricultural, special or heavy construction vehicles. But all the same, these estimates are very approximate.
Different countries have different registration and reporting requirements, and a small number of road vehicles may remain unlicensed somewhere.
In addition, there is practically no emission control equipment on many agricultural and industrial vehicles. And we don’t need to know the exact number of cars to understand the impact of exhaust gases on the planet when 98 percent of them run on gasoline or diesel fuel.
According to some estimates, by 2050 the total number of cars in the world could double to 2.5 billion.
Although China is the largest car manufacturer, there are still far fewer vehicles per person than in Western countries. If the ownership share in China was equal to the level of the United States, the country would have 1 billion cars.
The United States, on the contrary, has reached a maximum of 250 million cars with a population of 300 million people, and this figure is expected to gradually grow in the future.
A “global fleet” of 2.5 billion vehicles will mean that, in order to maintain the level of carbon dioxide emissions, with today’s average fuel efficiency, it will be necessary to halve the use of the fleet. And some scientists suggest that it will be necessary to reduce average carbon emissions by even 80 percent if we want to stabilize their impact on climate change.
And that would require most of the world’s fleet to use some other form of fuel, with a much lower carbon content.