• 214,000,000 — number of vehicles in the U.S.1
  • 290,000,000 — number of people in the U.S.2
  • 2 — number of American cars on the Top 20 list in “The Greenest Vehicles of 2003,” produced by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (the other 18 are Japanese)3
  • 22,802 — miles per year driven by the average family in 19834
  • 34,459 — miles per year driven by the average family in 19955
  • 24,902 — circumference of the Earth, in miles6
  • 19 — percentage of the average U.S. household budget devoted to transportation7
  • 50 — percentage increase in cars and trucks on the road between 1970 and 19908
  • 19,000,000 — number of trips taken per day in the U.S. on public transportation 9
  • 1,000,000,000 — number of trips taken per day in the U.S. via all means of transport10
  • 5,170 — amount, in dollars, the average motorist paid to drive a car 15,000 miles in 199011
  • 1,600 — number of hours the average American male devotes to his car each year12
  • 54,000,000 to 232,400,000,000 — estimated cost, in dollars, of automobile pollution in the U.S. each year 13
  • 18 — average fuel economy, in miles per gallon, of SUVs and pickup trucks on U.S. roads14
  • 700 — estimated cost, in dollars per vehicle, to achieve fuel efficiency of 40 miles per gallon15

Sources:
1. Earth Policy Institute.
2. U.S. Census Bureau.
3. ACEEE Green Book.
4. Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey.
5. Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey.
6. Planet Pals.
7. Progress, February 2003, newsletter of the Surface Transportation Policy Project.
8. Holtz Kay, Jane, Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take it Back (New York: Crown), 1997. Page 16.
9. Holtz Kay, Jane, Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take it Back (New York: Crown), 1997. Page 16.
10. U.S. Department of Transportation data, cited in Motavalli, Jim, Breaking Gridlock: Moving Toward Transportation That Works (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books), 2001. Page 9.
11. U.S. Department of Transportation data, cited in Motavalli, Jim, Breaking Gridlock: Moving Toward Transportation That Works (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books), 2001. Page 9.
12. American Automobile Association, quoted in Nadis, Steve and MacKenzie, James J., Car Trouble (Boston: Beacon Press), 1993. Page 9.
13. Alvord, Katie, Divorce Your Car! (Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society Publishers), 2000. Page 108.
14. The Detroit Project.
15. ACEEE, quoted in Doyle, Jack, Taken for a Ride: Detroit’s Big Three and the Politics of Pollution (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows), 2000. Page 259.

 

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