What Does the Decline in Vehicle Miles Traveled Mean?


Here’s an interesting graphic that suggests a phenomenon that my colleague Jeff Siegel calls “peak car” – a definitive decline in the number of vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. Granted, there are numerous factors that come together to push a change like this, and there is no guarantee that the trend will continue.

But it sure makes one wonder: Is the “bloom off the rose” for the concept of individual vehicle ownership? Has the combined impact of concepts such as mass transit, car-sharing, ride-sharing, micro-rentals, small urban commuter and package-delivery vehicles, redesigned cities, environmentalism – perhaps even the health aspects of biking and walking – begun to touch a chord in the American psyche?

We’ll see.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.