Driving With Mr. Zhu

One American journalist rides along with members of China's new car owning class as they discover the thrill of the open road.
July 4, 2006, 5am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

With auto sales increasing more than 50 percent a year, and massive highway building projects underway, a "car culture" is quickly emerging in China. Echoing the history of the car in the United States during the middle part of the twentieth century, China's new drivers are gassing up their cars (and S.U.V.s) and taking road-trips through the vast country.

"It is reminiscent of a fading romance in American life, this crush on the automobile, the thrill of car ownership, and it is fun to see."

However, the car craze also raises questions about how China will cope with its new drivers, and the environmental costs that auto use creates.

"Last year China enacted its first comprehensive emissions law, but it is expected to have little effect on the transport sector's copious carbon-dioxide emissions, which by 2030 are expected to exceed those of the United States, the world's largest producer."

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, July 2, 2006 in The New York Times Magazine
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email