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Has motorization in the U.S. peaked?  |n Part 7,  |p Update through 2013

In Part 5 in this series of reports , I examined the changes from 1984 to 201 2 in the number of registered light - duty vehicles, and the corresponding changes in distance driven and fuel consumed. The units of the analyses were both the absolute number s and the rates per person, per driver, per household, an d (where appropriate) per vehicle. The main finding of that report was that the respective rates all reached their maxima around 2004. I argued that, because the onsets of the reductions in these rates prece ded the onset of the recession in 2008 by several years , the reductions in these rates likely reflect fundamental, noneconomic changes in society. Therefore, these maxima have a reasonable chance of being long - term peaks as well. The present report provides a brief update on these measures t hrough 201 3 . The main findings are as follows: (1) Despite the population growth, the absolute amount of fuel consumed by light - duty vehicles decreased by 11 % during the period 2004 (the year of maximum consumption) through 201 3 . (2) The reductions in the rates per person, per driver, per household, and (where appropriate) per vehicle from the corresponding maxima (around 2004) to 201 3 were greatest for fuel consumed (ave raging about 1 7 %), followed by distance driven (about 8% ) and number of vehicles (about 5 %). (The fact that the reductions were greatest for fuel consumed reflects, in part, the added contribution of the improvements in vehicle fuel economy.) (3) The 201 3 rates of vehicles and distance driven were compara ble to the rates in the 1990s . The 201 3 rates of fuel consumption were lower than the rates in 1984 — the first year of this analysis. ( 4 ) There is no evidence in the 2013 data that the recent reductions in the rates were temporary. Indeed, out of the seven rates examined for number of vehicles and distance driven , four showed a decrease from 201 2 to 201 3 and three showed [...]