dependence on private cars increases … except in Île-de-France

Anne Lenormand / Localtis with AFP

The private car remains at the heart of the French use of transport and the health crisis has not changed, quite the contrary, according to the results of the Observatory of Shared and Electric Mobility * published on 21 April. This study carried out by Ifop on behalf of the car rental company Sixt shows that the car is still the first means of transport used daily (66%), well ahead of walking (16%) and public transport. (10%). Bicycles (4%), car sharing (1%), coaches (1%), motorcycles (1%) are used marginally.
The health crisis seems to have accelerated the use of individual transport to the detriment of public transport, according to Ifop: less than a quarter of respondents indicate that they use public transport (23%), compared to 31% in 2016. Instead , respondents are slightly more likely to use their own car (81%, +2 points) and bicycle (15%, +4 points).

72% of French people say they depend on the car

“In fact, this majority use of the car is accompanied by a feeling of dependence for 72% of French people,” said Ifop, who noted a correlation between this feeling and the category of agglomeration in which respondents live. Thus, 92% of the rural population considers themselves dependent on the car compared to 47% of those in the Paris conurbation and the feeling of dependence decreases with the size of the conurbation.
While the issue of purchasing power is a major concern today, the study also looked at the place of the transportation budget in the overall household budget. 63% of respondents believe that this is an important item of expenditure. If the countryside seems to be the most concerned (78%), this sentiment is predominant, also among the inhabitants of large agglomerations, the study highlights. The transport budget weighs even more when respondents have low incomes: 72% of respondents in the poor category believe that it is an important item of expenditure compared to 37% in the affluent categories. The weight of the transport budget is also felt more intensely by the French who travel by car every day (69%), the study points out.

Priority of priorities: reduce fuel prices

Consequently, the expectations of the respondents regarding transport are mainly related to the reduction in the price of fuel. 62% consider this to be the priority issue for the next five years, well ahead of maintaining railway lines in rural areas (14%), reducing the negative impact of transport on the environment (15%) or improving road safety (6). %)). “More generally, the issues related to the cost of transport are those that are considered most essential for the future of mobility, ahead of environmental issues or the development of alternative mobility,” said Ifop.
If only 28% of French people are convinced that the use of private cars will decrease in the next ten years, in principle they do not oppose it. 43% of respondents believe that this reduction would be a good thing, compared to 16% a bad thing and 41% neither a good thing nor a bad thing. In general, young people are more in favor of this reduction (54% for those under 25 compared to 34% for those over 65).

No enthusiasm for electric cars

The study also finds some reluctance regarding alternative solutions to the individual thermal car. “Just a quarter of motorists say they may consider not having a single car in the future and using shared transport (24%),” he said. Electric cars do not arouse much more enthusiasm, as only 31% of the respondents want to acquire it. vehicle in the coming years “. In question, the cost of purchase and operation was considered too high (55%), but also the autonomy was considered too low (34%) and the lack of recharging points (26%). This is a lower price that could encourage especially the French to buy an electric car (45% of respondents), well ahead of the availability of recharging points (14%), increased vehicle performance (15%) , better battery recycling (17%) or even a reduction in recharging time (9%). Finally, a large proportion of respondents (42%) believe that the development of electric vehicles is not a good solution to combat global warming.

First descent of the car park on the Île-de-France

Another study published on April 22 by the Paris Urbanism Workshop (Apur) and related to the evolution of the car fleet since 2012 shows the uniqueness of the Île-de-France in terms of car use. “While the underlying trend in France is the increase in the number of registrations, since 2018 there is a phenomenon of falling number of vehicles registered in the Metropolis (Greater Paris) and since 2019 in Île-de – France “, writes this agency, financed mainly by the city council of Paris. At the end of 2020, the first region in France, with 5.4 million cars for 12 million inhabitants, recorded around 8,500 fewer car and light commercial vehicle registrations than in 2019, a decrease of less of 0.2%.
Since 2012, the Ile-de-France car fleet had increased by an average of 53,000 vehicles per year (+ 0.9%). But this break only confirms a downward trend observed since 2014, with an increase in enrollments that had fallen between 2017 (+70,747) and 2018 (+11,781). The curve of the region seems to join that of Paris, which has lost an average of 3,400 vehicles, or 0.5% of its fleet, each year for ten years. A decline that accelerated at the intramural level with 6,000 fewer vehicles in 2019 and 2020.

Slowing down with the health crisis

“The decrease in the registered fleet” observed on a metropolitan and regional scale “is a new phenomenon in France”, stresses Apur, for which “the health crisis and the successive confinements have clearly slowed down the purchase of new vehicles”. This reality hides “varying trends by period and by territory,” says Apur, citing sectors of Seine-Saint-Denis where the car fleet continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace.
In Paris, the reduction of the car fleet is “a fundamental trend” which, according to Apur, is explained by the development of public transport, the rise of bicycles, the creation of low-emission mobility zones (ZFE-m) and the increase in the cost of vehicles (consumption and parking in particular).
But “at the moment, the effects of the ZFE-mobilités are not yet significantly observed on the fleet registered on the Île-de-France”, estimates Apur for whom the future stages of 2024 and 2030, synonymous with the end. of diesel and thermal vehicles in the heart of the metropolis, should encourage people and businesses to anticipate vehicle conversions. According to the study, the 2023 deadline for Crit’Air 3-rated cars, which will no longer be able to travel through the heart of the metropolis, affects about 574,000 cars, or 22% of the fleet.

* Survey conducted with a sample of 1,501 people, representative of the French population aged 18 or over, according to the method of quotas (age, profession of the respondent) after stratification by region and category of agglomeration. The interviews were conducted using a self-administered online questionnaire from January 11-12, 2022.

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