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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

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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
 

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

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 in October-December (Q4)

Comments

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