Facts & Figures

Why are cars (still) so important?

For over a hundred years, the private car has transformed modern society by providing independence and freedom of mobility. Mobility is becoming more and more important due to ever-increasing distances between home, work, educational institutions, shopping and leisure facilities.

Without individual mobility, adequate participation in social and economic life would not be possible in many cases, particularly for people living in remote areas, the elderly and those with disabilities.

  • Passenger cars are the number one source of mobility:
    • Taking the average European almost 13,000 kilometres a year
    • Some 70% of all journeys are made by private car, taxi or car sharing
  • About half of all car kilometres are work related
  • Passenger car production and usage represent about 8% of the total tax revenue (EUR 350 billion) received by EU member states

Did you know:

  • The EU produces cars which the cleanest, safest and quietest in the world
  • The average car engine emits 28 times less carbon monoxide than 20 years ago
  • The average new car emissions are 118.5 CO2/km (2017) compared to 186 CO2/km in 1995 - a 36.1% decrease in two decades
  • Noise from cars has been reduced by 90% since 1970
  • There are about 260 million cars on EU roads today
  • Their average age is 11 years
  • Alternatively powered cars (electric, natural gas, LPG) represent 5.1% of the total EU vehicle fleet
  • About 15 million new car registrations in 2018:
    • More than half (56.7%) run on petrol
    • Diesel accounts for 35.9%
    • Only 2% of new cars are e-cars

Sources: https://www.acea.be/statistics/tag/category/key-figures and https://www.acea.be/about-acea/static-page/passenger-cars.