Ideally, I think that we would be bicycling a lot more and living closer to where we work. However, Americans have fallen in love with motorized private transportation, so I think that we’d be seeing a lot more electric cars instead. Due to the fact that so many people already have cars, I think that people would convert their ICE vehicles to battery electric vehicles much faster than they are doing right now.
I think that some people would ride their bikes more, however, certainly not the majority. Americans, as a whole, would just complain about the gas prices but would still pay for it since we rely so heavily on gas. It would definitely boost the sales the electric cars, but those are still being perfected.
I think that we would be seeing a lot more hybrids and compact cars on the roads! When I went to Paris, almost all the cars were small and compact; it was rare to see an SUV or truck. Along with what everyone else mentioned, walking and biking would also look like a more cost effective way to get around.
I think people would just go to Costco more for gas, pay the higher prices, and think of
ways to reduce how often they’re driving. Geographically speaking the U.S. is very different
from Europe so what works for Europe unfortunately isn’t going to work for the U.S.. The biggest
difference between the U.S. and Europe is sprawl and the conditions that shaped American
infrastructure vs. European countries. European towns and cities were built before auto
ownership was common. European countries also have less land available to them. Most U.S. development took place when cars were a common part of households. East coast cities in the U.S. that were developed before the auto era have 3 times the density of Mid-western cities
and 6 times the density of western cities, which were developed more in conjunction with car
ownership. It’s easier to bike or drive an electric car with a limited charge when things are
closer together like in Europe. It would be great if people could live closer to their jobs,
but in this kind of economy, the opposite is actually happening. People are having a harder
time finding jobs so they are expanding the physical area in which they are willing to work. I don’t think electric and hybrid car sales would rise because many Americans still cannot
afford them. Some people are especially weary of electric cars because of the lack of plug-in
sites and limited miles that can be driven per charge.
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