Posted on - 12 December 2023

Cars impact on the environment

The transport sector is one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions and a major source of air pollution.

Two new vehicles enter the roads every single second. By 2030 it will be more than four.

By 2030, an estimated 127 million vehicles will be produced globally. By 2035, the total number of vehicles could be 2 billion.

The environmental impact of cars will depend on how effectively we move towards electrified cars (and more fuel efficient cars but that’s not a long term solution).

Cars are a heavy CO2 emitter and air polluter

The transport sector burns most of the world’s petroleum and is one of the largest sources of global greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also heavy on air pollution. cars are a major contributor to air pollution producing significant amounts of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter.

80-90% of cars’ environmental impact comes from fuel consumption and emissions of air pollution and greenhouse gases.

Particulate matter in the air alone is responsible for up to 30,000 premature deaths every year.

Cars are also one of the most recycled products in the world – about 85 percent of all the materials are reused. Other industries could learn much from this.


Electrified cars made up just 0.4% of the cars on the road in 2018. By 2030, the share of electrified vehicles of new sales could  be as high as 50%. But it could also be only 10%. It will depend on incentives for producers and consumers such as tax breaks for clean electricity, taxation of CO2-emissions, elimination of fossil fuel subsidies and so on.

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