Cars are undoubtedly getting smaller and lighter, as car makers focus their designs on ensuring gas efficiency. Innovative car designs these days tend to aim for the most lightweight or minimal frame possible. New hybrid and electric car models produced in China and Japan are focused on small designs that can maintain cruising time as long as possible.
carlymfiske is absolutely right in saying that large cars aren’t as dominant in the marketplace as they once were, and that there is now a trend for smaller and lighter cars (a positive direction from a pro-environmental point of view). However, the fate of large cars is far from sealed. Large cars still have a lot of appeal for their cargo-carrying ability, safety (as proven by simple physics), and passenger comfort. They are also considered more convenient for larger families because of their seating capacities.
Cars will continue to get smaller as long as their main source of energy is non-renewable. Considering that peak oil was supposedly reached in 2005, the price of oil will continue to rise and this will lead to smaller, more efficient vehicles. The kicker here is that we have already developed electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered vehicles. If either of these technologies can reach their potential, I see no reason why vehicles would not start to get bigger again. Large vehicles have their own appeal, and history teaches us that people will purchase larger, faster cars if their energy source is cheap.
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