Hanover, Germany – Continental’s annual mobility survey has found that the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has intensified the trend towards the use of personal vehicles.
Continental Mobility Study 2020, which surveyed people in Germany, France, the US, Japan and China, showed that well over 80% of all respondents in Germany, France and China own the car they drive.
In Japan the figure drops to 70% while in the US it surpasses the 90% mark, said Conti in a 17 Dec report, publishing the results of the two-stage survey.
“Private car use has seen strong growth, while sharing and hailing services, which have been booming in recent years, are suffering a significant slump,” said the Continental statement.
According to Continental, while sharing concepts have gained in importance in recent years, particularly in urban areas, private transportation is firmly anchored in most people’s everyday lives.
The trend, the German group expects, will probably remain so for “a long time to come”, especially in rural areas where households are currently more likely to have their own car.
For most participants, the car is part of day-to-day mobility. Some 33% of Americans use their vehicle at least once a week, while 57% stated that they use it on a daily or almost daily basis.
In France and Germany, 59% and 53% of respondents said they used their car on a daily or almost daily basis respectively.
By contrast, only 34% of respondents in Japan said they used their car on a daily or almost daily basis.
Describing private transportation as "the winner of the crisis", Continental said the use of own cars and bicycles gained considerable importance during the Covid pandemic.
This trend, Conti said, is particularly pronounced in China, where almost half of the respondents say they travel more by car.
Similarly 57% of Japanese participants said they have been using public transport less frequently since the outbreak.
On whether the trend towards own cars will continue after the crisis, the survey found that 6% of respondents in Germany and 15% in the US reported that they have bought a car or are considering buying one in the medium to long term.
In China, where the proportion of car owners is still significantly lower, as many as 58%of respondents reported the same.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Dr. Ariane Reinhart, Continental executive board member for human relations and sustainability, said the findings show that there was “a global need for personal mobility.”
With pressing climate issues, Reinhart said Conti’s carbon neutrality commitment will contribute significantly to personal transport.
Conti has pledged to switching to 100% green electricity in all of its plants as of this year.
At the beginning of December 2020, the company also announced its carbon neutral for emission-free vehicles programme, which aims to bridge the gap between emission-free mobility and carbon neutrality.