Evening traffic in Düsseldorf (archive picture): trend "away from the car" not recognizable
Photo: Martin Gerten / dpa
Despite the efforts to make greater use of local public transport, the number and density of cars in many cities have recently continued to increase. The number of registered cars grew last year in 22 of the 25 large municipalities examined, as industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer found in an analysis of data from the Federal Motor Transport Authority and the Federal Statistical Office. In Berlin and Leipzig, for example, the increase was 1.1 percent each, in Hanover 1.2 percent and in Dortmund and Freiburg 1.7 percent. The increase was strongest in Bochum with 2.2 percent.
Overall, the urban car density per 1000 inhabitants increased slightly in the course of 2020 from 450 to 451. It was expected that during the corona crisis, many people would switch to their own car because of concerns about infection in buses and trains.
However, this was offset by estimates according to which individual mobility would decrease significantly overall.
"The trend that is often claimed to be" away from the car "cannot be recognized," says Dudenhöffer, interpreting the results.
Car owners now appreciate the possibility of being able to use their own car flexibly - even though they drive shorter total distances each year.
In 2020, however, there were also three cities in which the number of cars fell:
Wolfsburg (minus 1.7 percent),
Ingolstadt (-3.4) and
where the headquarters of Volkswagen, Audi and BMW are located.
The assumption for the opposite trend here: Numerous company cars were withdrawn from use at short notice because many senior executives of the car manufacturers were working from home.
"One can expect that the loss will be replaced again in the course of 2021," writes the head of the Center Automotive Research (CAR) in Duisburg.
mik / dpa-AFX