Energy Efficiency Policies around the World: Review and Evaluation
The energy intensity of the transport sector appears to be quite similar in Europe, OECD Asia and Pacific and other Asia, while North America's stand at a level 75% higher (Figure 2.20). In China and India, because of the still low car ownership, the energy intensity is low compared to the other regions.
North America and CIS are among the few regions where the energy consumption of transport is growing much slower than the GDP. In North America, the reduction in the fuel economy of new cars, following the implementation of the CAFE standards , and the already high energy intensity explain this situation.
In Europe, the energy intensity of transport has been decreasing only slightly since 1990. In OECD, Asia & Pacific, there was hardly any reduction at all. This is not in line with the improvement of the energy efficiency of vehicles (25-30% in Europe since 1973) and the policy measures implemented (Figure 2.21).
In fact, other factors have offset these technical improvements: growing traffic jams, behavioural factors (e.g. a shift to bigger cars, use of air conditioning) and continuous shift to road for the transport of goods. Since 2000, some countries demonstrated a stabilisation in the energy consumption by the transport sector (e.g. Japan or France) or even a decrease (Germany),
In Latin America, Africa and Other Asia, the energy intensity of transport has been increasing until 2000, because of the increasing ownership of cars and motorcycles, and the use of roads to transport goods instead of water or rail. Higher oil prices have, however, reversed that trend everywhere in recent years. In China and South Asia, the growth of the energy consumption of transport is slower than the GDP because of a slower increase in car ownership and the dominant role of rail transport for the transport of goods.