China has already emerged as the world’s largest car market, surpassing the U.S. in 2009.
According to a new study, it could also become the home of the world’s most massive traffic jams.
Traffic in ChinaEnlarge Photo
Commuters of all nations will find the International Energy Agency’s report, “A Tale of Renewed Cities,” as bleak as any Dickens novel.
But the news is especially bad for Chinese drivers.
The IEA expects global vehicle travel to double by 2050, overriding advancements in green technology.
As a result, vehicle emissions are expected to increase by 70 percent during that time.
China is projected to be responsible for much of that increase. Distance driven is expected to increase from less than 1.5 trillion kilometers in 2010 to around 9 trillion in 2050.
According to China Car Times, eight Chinese cities are proposing limits on car sales to curb pollution.
IEA study on global vehicle usageEnlarge Photo
While the restrictions have not been officially announced, the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers is already fighting them, saying they will hurt the economy more than they will help with the pollution problem.
The trend of rising global vehicle usage may also be felt in the United States.
U.S. drivers could soon experience Labor Day-weekend levels of traffic year-round on some routes as early as 2020.