Revolutionary Shift: Giving Up Cars Surges in Urban Areas


A survey conducted by Germany’s leading technical inspection and certification service provider TÜV reveals that almost 70% of Germans believe a “fundamental rethink” is necessary in terms of mobility due to the climate crisis. The survey indicates that two-thirds of respondents consider government support for emission-free mobility options important. Additionally, one third of car owners are open to giving up their vehicles for alternative solutions, with this percentage rising to 40% in urban areas.

Why does it matter?

The survey highlights the key factors that deter individuals from utilizing public transport and other climate-friendly modes of transportation, including unreliable or inadequate local public transport, the perceived difficulty of certain activities without a personal vehicle, and the enjoyment derived from driving one’s car. Respondents express strong support for climate-friendly measures in the mobility sector, such as expanding public transport, reducing ticket prices, and enhancing bicycle infrastructure. However, there is resistance towards proposals like implementing inner-city tolls and increasing parking fees.

Germany’s transport sector faces challenges in reducing emissions, with transport-related emissions remaining virtually unchanged since the 1990s. Projections by the Federal Environment Agency suggest that the transport industry is unlikely to achieve its emission reduction targets for 2030. In response to this, a coalition of environmental NGOs, motorists’ clubs, trade unions, and labor associations has urged the government to redirect funds from climate-damaging subsidies and new road construction towards sustainable investments in decarbonizing the transport sector.

How is it going to shape the future?

The survey findings indicate a shift in attitudes towards car ownership, particularly in urban areas, where a significant percentage of individuals are willing to explore alternative modes of transportation. With growing awareness of the environmental impact of traditional transport methods, there is an increasing call for innovative solutions and policy interventions to promote sustainable mobility practices. By reevaluating current approaches to transportation and prioritizing climate-friendly initiatives, there is potential to drive significant changes in the mobility sector to address the challenges posed by the climate crisis.

Clean Energy Wire. Reproduced with permission.