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Changes in automobile energy consumption during urbanization: Evidence from 279 cities in China

Du, Zhili, Lin, Boqiang
Energy policy 2019 v.132 pp. 309-317
automobiles, cities, energy, energy use and consumption, income, modernization, transportation industry, urbanization, China
Automobile sector is one of the important parts of the transportation industry. China's booming auto sector has also brought huge energy consumption, and energy consumption in the automobile sector will continue to increase with the further development of China's economy. Urbanization is a complex process of modernization, and it may be an important reason for the change in automobile energy consumption. According to the current literature, the impact of urbanization may exist as a positive or negative mechanism. Based on the sample of 279 cities in 31 provinces of China from 2003 to 2015, this paper analyzes how urbanization affects automobile energy consumption in the disparity of income, and then it also further explores the heterogeneity of automobile energy consumption in different regions. The conclusion of this paper shows that considering the income disparity, the effect of urbanization on automobile energy consumption increased first and then decreased. The regions with relatively low automobile energy consumption will gradually catch up with the high energy consumption regions, and automobile energy consumption in each region will not converge to its own steady state.