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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Size of the vehicle fleet / Size of the vehicle fleet (TERM 032) - Assessment published Jan 2011

Size of the vehicle fleet (TERM 032) - Assessment published Jan 2011

Indicator Assessment Created 02 Dec 2010 Published 12 Jan 2011 Last modified 23 Nov 2012, 03:02 PM
Topics: ,

Generic metadata

Topics:

Transport Transport (Primary topic)

Tags:
transport indicators | diesel | transport
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Efficiency indicator (Type C - Are we improving?)
Indicator codes
  • TERM 032
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1995-2009
Geographic coverage:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

Indicator definition

Vehicle ownership is defined as number of road vehicles (passenger cars and two-wheelers) per number of inhabitants. The indicator can be extended to include other specified by passenger transport modes (road busses, coaches, rail, maritime, air), although these are not privately owned.

Freight transport intensity is defined as number of vehicles per unit of GDP specified by freight transport mode (road, rail, inland, maritime).
The share of diesel cars in the entire passenger car fleet is defined as number of diesel vehicles per total number of passenger cars.

Units

Vehicle ownership is expressed in number of vehicles per 1 000 inhabitants. Freight transport intensity is expressed in number of heavy duty trucks per million Euro of GDP in constant 1995 prices. Dieselisation is expressed in percentage of diesel vehicles in the entire passenger car fleet.


Key policy question: Is the vehicle fleet expanding?

Key messages

  • The level of car ownership is growing rapidly in the EEA-32 countries, especially in countries with relatively low car ownership levels, like the new EU Member States (EU-12). Increasing private vehicle ownership has proven to lead to increased usage of private vehicles and might have the opposite effect on public transport usage in the future. The number of buses-coaches per capita has increased slightly in the period 1995 to 2009.
  • The number of trucks per unit of GDP (truck intensity) has remained constant over the same period and is generally higher in the new EU Member States (EU-12) than in the older ones (EU-15).

Dieselisation in the EEA

Note: The graph shows development of dieselisation, defined as the percentage share of diesel cars in the total passenger car fleet, in 1995 and 2009.

Data source:

Vehicle stock of passenger cars, 1995-2009 TREMOVE v3.3.1.

Downloads and more info

Vehicle ownership and truck intensity in the EEA

Note: The graph shows development of vehicle ownership, defined as number of passenger vehicles per 1 000 inhabitants, and truck intensity, defined as number of trucks per million euro GDP in constant 1995 prices , over the period 1995 to 2009.

Data source:

Vehicle stock of passenger cars, light and heavy duty trucks, buses/coaches and two-wheelers, 1995-2009 TREMOVE v3.3.1.

Population and GDP data, 1995-2009 from Eurostat.

Downloads and more info

Passenger car ownership in the EEA

Note: The graph shows development of passenger cars ownership, defined as number of passenger cars per 1 000 inhabitants, in 1995, 2005, 2007 and 2009.

Data source:

Vehicle stock of passenger cars, light and heavy duty trucks, buses/coaches and two-wheelers, 1995-2009 TREMOVE v3.3.1.

Population and GDP data, 1995-2009 from Eurostat.

Downloads and more info

Truck intensity in the EEA

Note: The graph shows development of truck intensity, defined as number of trucks per million euro GDP, in 1995 and 2009.

Data source:

Vehicle stock of passenger cars, light and heavy duty trucks, buses/coaches and two-wheelers, 1995-2009 TREMOVE v3.3.1.

GDP data, 1995-2009 from Eurostat.

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

  • Passenger transport vehicles

The entire vehicle fleet in the EEA area has grown in the period 1995 to 2009. Especially the vehicle stocks in the new EU member states have grown rapidly, reflecting significant changes in the structure of both passenger transport (from rail to private cars) and freight transport (from rail to trucks).

Car ownership has increased considerably over the same period. In the EEA-32 area it grew from 322 to 419 cars per 1 000 inhabitants between 1995 and 2009, an average of 1.93 % per year. The average number of passenger cars per capita increased particularly strongly in the new member states of the EU, following economic growth. In the older member states this number has increased only marginally over the last four years. Despite this increase, the car ownership level in the new EU Member States remains considerably lower compared to the old EU-15 and EFTA countries.

The main factors underlying the growth of passenger cars per capita in the EEA area are (a) decreasing number of persons per household, (b) increasing number of cars per household and (c) increases in the average travel distance, lower accessibility and flexibility by public transport and changes in lifestyle patterns.

The strong growth is slowing down in most EU countries, as the number of cars per capita is already relatively high. This can be explained by the fact that households may need one or two cars, but generally not more. In contrast, countries with lower numbers of cars per capita show rapid increases in vehicle ownership. The latter applies to the new member states, but also to a couple of EU-15 countries.

The share of diesel cars in the entire passenger car fleet continuously increased in most Member States in the time period 1995-2009. In the entire EEA area it increased from 14 % to 34 %. From an energy efficiency point of view this means that less energy is consumed for the same transport activity (expressed in passenger-kilometres or tonne-kilometres). From the pollutant emissions point of view there are strong indications that dieselisation could result in a considerable decrease of the carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions, but also in an increase in nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions.

The average level of powered two-wheeler (including motorcycles) ownership in the EEA area increased significantly by about 25 % between 1995 and 2009, while there is a lower increase of about 20 % in the number of buses and coaches per 1 000 inhabitants over the same period.

  • Freight transport vehicles

The number of trucks per unit of GDP (truck intensity) is considerably higher in the new EU Member States than in the old EU-15. The trend in 'own account' transport (i.e. operations in which a company transports its own goods from one place to another) in the EU15 has been declining over the years. On the other hand, the new member states have a relatively higher share of road freight transport carried out as 'own account' and consequently a lower share of 'hire or reward' transport (i.e. when the transport operator is not the owner of the goods) compared to EU-15 Member States. 'Hire or reward' transport companies will be better organised to pick up different loads at ends of their route, reducing the amount of empty running. This means that a higher 'own account' share will require more trucks for the same amount of transport, which could explain the higher truck intensity in the new member states.

The high number of trucks per unit of GDP observed in the Baltic States and the newest EU member states (Bulgaria and Romania) are related to low GDP levels and relatively high (road) freight transport intensity. Recent figures are much closer to the EEA average value, especially in the case of Lithuania. Malta and Cyprus also show relatively high numbers of trucks per unit of GDP, which could be explained by the absence of alternative inland freight transport modes (there are no railways on these islands).

Data sources

Policy context and targets

Context description

The level of vehicle ownership is closely related to car use (and thus the volume of mobility) and - especially in urban areas - also to traffic congestion. Policies aiming at limiting the size and growth of the vehicle fleet might only be found in urban areas, where the number of motorised vehicles is related to increased traffic congestion and the associated higher concentration of air pollutants in the atmosphere.

Targets

There are no specific objectives or targets related to the size and composition of the vehicle fleet. Policy objectives are rather set with respect to the average age and to the environmental performance of the fleets.

Related policy documents

No related policy documents have been specified

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

For passenger transport, vehicle ownership is calculated by dividing the total number of vehicles in each vehicle category (i.e. passenger cars, buses & coaches, two-wheelers, passenger trains) by the number of inhabitants in each country or country group. For freight transport, truck intensity is calculated by dividing the total number of trucks (i.e. light and heavy duty vehicles, freight trains) by the total GDP in each country or country group. The share of diesel passenger cars in the passenger car fleet is calculated by dividing the number of diesel passenger cars by total passenger car fleet.

Methodology for gap filling

Data gaps are filled either by interpolation, in case that data are missing in between reported data, or by using the first (or last) reported value.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

The data are considered reliable as they are derived from official statistics (Eurostat).

Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Cinzia Pastorello

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 2.9.2 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year

Comments

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100