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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A brief article on the increasing car population.

The number of registered cars has been growing by roughly one thousand a day—much faster than had been predicted by local government officials even 18 months ago. As with all of China's major cities, Beijing lacks the infrastructure to handle the onslaught. The central government’s response has been to build more roadways and to issue periodic pronouncements that it can cool the economy sufficiently to reduce demand for cars. Thus far these tactics have been less than successful at reducing choking traffic jams around its major metropolitan areas.

from Wired Autopia
 

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More to think about.....

This is really a MULTI level problem. First, the roadways. Yes, new roads are being built all over the country (Nanning has TWO new bridges under construction and lots of new roads) and that WILL help with the traffic. However.........building more new roads (ESPECIALLY new highways between cities and provinces) will reduce the amount of arable farmland available for food production - and farmland is ALREADY being reduced due to parched land in the northern China (rainfall at record levels below average) and over-saturated land in southern China (way above average rainfall). China still has to feed 1,3 BILLION people, and reducing arable land just increases the challenges. Next....WHERE do all of these cars park when they're not on the roads?? Sure, new apartment buildings have mostly sufficient parking........but what about in the city centers? Are new parking facilities being built at the same pace as new roads? Somehow, I don't think so. I will say this (and I'm only speaking for Nanning) - all new shopping centers/malls have underground parking built in.........so at least shopping at those places is no problem if you have a car!! Finally, more cars and more roads mean.....MORE GAS STATIONS (and nigher national levels of oil consumption). China has no choice but to increase the amount of oil it imports to keep up with rising consumer demand.....and as the government loosens mandated price controls, the price of gasoline is going to go UP.

China is a PRIME candidate for hybrid/electric cars.........I don't EVEN want to think about how BAD the air quality will be in China with another FOUR MILLION cars on the roads in 10 years (not to mention the additional effects on global warming). I would LOVE to have a choice when it comes to buying a hybrid car right now........but with the exception of the Toyota Prius there are NO OTHER hybrid cars for sale (yet)!! COME ON, car companies - what are you waiting for?!?!?!?!?!??????????? :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
China is the enviable position to learn from North America when it comes to the usage of cars.

As jmsteiny mentions at some point the infrastructure is overwhelmed, commutes become a daily torture, people multi task in cars since they spend so much time in them.

Gasoline powered cars are no longer a long term solution to mobilty. I discovered this informative piece, take a look http://stradaautostore.squarespace.com/think-verde/
 

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Since China is now a full fledged Capitalistic economy, there's no way to turn the tide back and say that you (the Chinese citizens) can not buy cars or other material things; that would be bad for growth and a step in the wrong direction.

The gov should instead strongly encourage small cars (does not have to be "cheap", think the Mini, BMW 1 series, and MBZ A class) and advanced/alternative technologies, such as electric, plug-in hybrids, CNG, bio-diesel, and eventually, hydrogen.

There should also be a program to systematically eliminate older cars. For 10% of the cars produce 90% of the pollution. Given all the crappy and smoking beat-up cars I've seen on China's roads, the limit should be 8 years. Junk it or pay huge registration fees (Japan has a similar policy). By doing so also encourages consumption (of new cars) that drives economic growth. It's a win-win.

New roads have got to be built. Economic development depends on it. Maybe put half the money into roads into a irrigation project to relocate the water more evenly around the country - to alleviate farming issues and congested cities???
 

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Great..........

BringIt, I don't know if I would call China a "full-fledged" capitalistic economy.........but I understand what you mean and I agree. Now, about your suggestions........

As far as government and small cars.......pretty amazing thinking, BringIt! As of April 1, 2006 there were new sales tax laws put in place specifically to encourage the purchase of small cars. If you now buy a new car with a engine size of UNDER 1.5 liters, your sales tax is now 3% (down from 5%). For engine sizes of 1.5 to 2.0 liters, the tax rate is the same (5%) and for engines larger than 2.0 liters, the tax rate is now TEN percent (DOUBLE the previous rate - look at it as a new kind of luxury tax). I don't know if it's had a significant effect or not, but I think it's a good idea. Electric and hybrid cars ARE on the way, but there will need to be a aggressive marketing campaign to educate the consumer about the importance of buying these types of cars. Cars are still a "status symbol" here, and until hybrids are affordable enough AND offer enough style and luxury to compete with a gas engine car, hybrids won't sell.

For eliminating older cars......the current law is 15 years before a car/truck has to be "retired". Not a bad law on the surface........but when you think about the possibility of 10-15 year old truck that's still "legal" for the road but BELCHING out black exhaust - I think 8-10 years is a MUCH better time frame. The key to this law, though will be proper enforcement.

I LOVE the idea of a "matching funds" type of idea - build a new road, develop a new irrigation project!! This would be a GREAT way to use the remaining arable land in a MUCH more effective way, provide new jobs AND ensure a plentiful food supply - along with new roads.

Great ideas..........hopefully the future will agree with you.:thumb:
 
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