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There is a sharpening conflict between the increasing demand for individual mobility and societal needs. The conflict cannot be solely solved by technological improvements or even a technological breakthrough. An approach that also takes into account the socioeconomic an political aspects is necessary. Systems presently under development are not yet competitive and are thus far away from mass commercialization. The fossil fuel internal combustion engine vehicle will dominate for about the next 15 years. Lowering emissions will be probably overcompensated for by the increase in car use. Regulations should be envisaged to improve the situation.
Steel and iron will dominate body construction for about the next 10 years; they will be gradually substituted as long as the higher costs of new lightweight materials do no excessively increase the price of the car. New generation vehicles may however be earlier introduced in niche markets (eg hybrid and hydrogen fuelled models in congested urban areas). Together with nontechnical factors such as public regulations on fuel economy and emissions, and increasing customer awareness of the environment this niche introduction of different new generation vehicles might pave the way for a new sustainable mobility.

Additional information

Authors: CANARELLI P ET AL, JRC Sevilla (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 17277 EN (1996) 163pp., FS, free of charge
Availability: Available from the Public Relations and Publications Unit, JRC Ispra, I-21020 Ispra (IT), Fax: +39-332-785818
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