Do Traffic Controllers Dream of Electric Cars?

Nicholas Taylor


Traffic congestion is not a modern phenomenon, but the growth of motor traffic driven by the supply of petroleum is. This coincides with concern about climate change caused by carbon emissions to which transport makes a substantial and increasing contribution. It seems that private cars in particular cannot be useful without coming to dominate human activity and even whole economies, creating dependence, congestion and severance which paradoxically negate many of the benefits of mobility. Electrification may reduce carbon emissions, but is unlikely to support the same weight of motor traffic, and will not reduce its other effects. It is doubtful that sustainability, however defined, is compatible with current high and increasing levels of motorised movement, so a culture change will be needed.


Congestion; traffic; growth; sustainability; climate

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