How Many Cars Are There In The World?

How Many Cars Are There In The World Today?

While estimates vary on how many cars are in the world today, below is the most accurate estimate on how many cars are in the world today.

In short, there are so many cars in the world today that the fuel burnt on the world's roads by those many cars emits 1.73 billion metric tons (equivalent to 3.81 trillion pounds) of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.

How much pollution is that? That's equal to burning all of the coal in a fully-loaded coal train that stretches 304,000 miles, long enough to wrap 12 times around the earth at the equator. And that's just the pollution from the 1.1 billion automobiles in just one year!

As of 2012, there are 1.1 billion automobiles on the earth, which is a 57% increase from the 700 million automobiles that were on earth's roads just 8 years earlier in 2004.

A bulk of that growth came from the developing economies of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries. But featuring especially large even among the BRICS countries is China, the planet's second largest economy, the fastest growing large economy, and the fastest growing market for automobiles, now with over 100 million vehicles on the road. While USA currently has the most number of vehicles, with over 250 million, China is expected to overtake USA as the largest automobile market on the planet within the next decade.

The 1.1 billion automobiles in 2012 already average a set of new tires about every 2 years, or 2.2 billion tires annually, and those 2.2 billion tires consume over half of the earth's rubber production, which of course burns even more fuel.

All of these numbers are set to rise sharply as the earth's population grows and countries like China and India, with populations of 1.4 billion and 1.2 billion respectively, continue to industrialize and grow their middle classes at an even faster rate than the other segments of their population.


Under-inflated tires

Who is responsible for global warming?

Environmental defense organizations