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The car - a major polluter

Is the age of universal car ownership coming to an end?

In the early 2020s a great shock hit car manufacturers in the western world; car sales were falling rapidly.

Some of this was down to the Dieselgate scandal in which certain car manufacturers were found to have falsified particle pollution emissions from diesel engines; part of it was uncertainty about for how long would the internal combustion engine be allowed to continue on the roads. The electric car was becoming more popular and governments had committed to eradicating purely petrol or diesel cars in the future. There was also a social change going on though. Young people were more aware of the impact that fossil fuels were having on the environment, insurance costs for young drivers were sky high; and short term (temporary) car insurance became available. No longer was it necessary to actually own a car; after all they spent most of their time sat by the kerbside or in a garage, slowly depreciating in value. The benefits of borrowing cars or even sharing them became more obvious, especially in an age when taxis were (thanks to companies like Uber) plentiful and cheap.

Rather than pay out a fortune on car insurance every year young drivers could buy a temporary car insurance policy not only for a car that the driver owned, but one that was borrowed as well. This meant that groups of people could share cars; homes with two or even three cars on the drive dwindled in numbers.

Fewer cars meant less of them on the road at any one time which reduced pollution, but just as important was the fact that all the energy it took actually creating the car, and then disposing of it, was saved.

If we are to believe the experts the future belongs to the driverless car and borrowing one for short journeys will become the norm.

We may yet see the day when car insurance is as obsolete as the penny farthing cycle, and electrically propelled driverless cars glide quietly down our roads and motorways. Now all we have to do is find some way of not only creating enough electricity in a clean way to power all these cars, but also to store it, and the Green Revolution will be well on it's way. This is surely not a task beyond our scientists, surely?

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