la-fi-hy-2014-los-angeles-auto-show-pictures-107There’s a laudable trend directly affecting the reduction in carbon emission!  If this trend continues, the U.S. would no longer be the largest emitter of greenhouse gases by 2040.

What is this trend?  This is the continuing decline of two cars-households.

Survey research conducted by KPMG, a major global accounting and research entity, indicates that by 2040 fewer than 47% of American households will have multiple vehicles.  Currently, 57% of American households still have two or more cars.  This predicted 10% reduction in dual car ownership is due to several factors, one of them is increasing financial burden.

The other contributing factors identified in the report are increased urbanization, telecommuting, changes in travel preferences among the younger generation, and growing traffic congestion in big metro areas. With new cars typically costing the average families $31,000, families are looking at cheaper options with no fixed costs.

In major cities across America, car sharing companies like Zipcar, on-demand car services like Uber, and even bike shares are making significant headway, this is especially true in over 400 American Universities and colleges all across the country.

Car-sharing is an economical alternative for college students.  Take this information for instance, membership with Zipcar costs just $60/year or $6/month and hourly rates start at just $8.25/hour with their Occasional Driving Plan membership.  College-aged members reported that they save around $600 per month using car-sharing scheme compared to owning their own car.

The flow-on benefits are also noteworthy.  Members of car sharing programs report a 46% increase in public transit trips, a 10% increase in bicycling trips and a 26% increase in walking trips since joining up. Significantly, a study by the National Academy of Sciences found that each shared car takes about 15 private cars off the road.  This is the sort of data that the American people need to hear.

The strategy is clearly twofold.  Save college kids money through cost-sharing, and at the same time get them hooked to the concept.  Over the next the few years, these young college kids would be the movers and shakers of modern, environmentally friendly metro and urban areas.

More and more people are also deciding to live in moderately walkable places that are not crazy expensive. But for those in more expensive, more gentrified neighborhoods, couples are also finding that when they’re not spending extra money maintaining two vehicles it is actually more affordable to live near work.

Significantly reduced gas emission is a direct result of all this declining trend.  About 19.64 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) are produced from burning a gallon of gasoline that does not contain ethanol and about 22.38 pounds of CO2 are produced by burning a gallon of diesel fuel. Multiply that by 1,000,000 cars and you could just about understand why Earth is choking.

Although it is possible to buy biodiesel fuel in many states, it is still carbon-emitting.  Even using 100% biodiesel, cars still emit 20.13 pounds of CO2..

Car-sharing and power walking are clearly the answer!