The American passenger vehicle fleet is being transformed into bigger, fuel-thirstier, and more dangerous models (for those hit by them). Americans have shown a preference for light trucks, and manufacturers are responding by ditching cars.
Both are problems, but globally, sports utility vehicles sales are proliferating far faster than cars, be they electric or petrol-powered, posing a major challenge for governments committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Two widely cited University of Michigan transportation researchers urge consumers to drive more fuel efficient vehicles to reduce their own carbon emissions as President Trump works to relax vehicle fuel economy standards.
Last year set two notable vehicle records. First, the most cars ever sold, at 17.54 million. Second, light trucks accounted for almost 61 percent of all sales. Sales of more fuel efficient car fell, though electric vehicle sales increased.
The auto may no longer be "the quintessential symbol of American mobility, status and independence," opines Robert J. Samuelson for The Washington Post, as the latest demographic and auto ownership data point to a change in American mobility.