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Case Study 3 Why the car is key to low carbon mobility in Brazil

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-64-7-3297

ISBN: 978-1-910158-64-7

Published: November 2016

Component type: chapter

Published in: Low Carbon Mobility Transitions

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-64-7-2847



This case study focuses on the question which levels of automobility, i.e. car ownership and use, can be expected for Brazil within the next decades. To answer this question, we combine findings from three studies exploring future automobility: firstly, a study comparing context conditions for automobility in emerging and in advanced economies; secondly, as system dynamics model of the car purchase demand of first-time buyers in Brazil; thirdly, a cluster study of metropolitan areas worldwide.
With a GDP per Capita of about 8,000 USD per year, car ownership is rapidly growing in Brazil. Based on analyses of historic paths of automobility development over economic growth, this rapid growth of car ownership in Brazil can be expected to level off in about 30 to 40 years. In light of various factors which are influential for car ownership, we expect that by then Brazil will have a level of automobility higher than Europe today, but lower than the USA today. The availability of domestic oil and bio-ethanol, an important car industry and policy factors conducive to car use contribute to this development. On their path towards low carbon mobility transitions, we suggest to focus on ‘improve’ strategies (e.g. increase efficiencies of cars).

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  • Tobias Kuhnimhof, Institute of Transport Research, German Aerospace Center, Berlin, Germany. (Author)
  • Christine Weiss, Institute for Transport Studies, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany. (Author)

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Kuhnimhof & Weiss, 2016

Kuhnimhof, T. & Weiss, C. (2016) "Case Study 3 Why the car is key to low carbon mobility in Brazil" In: Hopkins, D. & Higham, J. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-64-7-3297


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