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Survey by the TÜV Association

40 percent of German citizens have changed their mobility behaviour in favour of the climate

People walking
© ELTIS / Harry Schiffer

Four out of ten Germans (40 percent) say they have changed their personal mobility behaviour in recent years in favour of climate-friendly travel. This is the result of a representative Forsa survey commissioned by the TÜV Association among 1,004 people aged 18 and over. "In large parts of the population, there is a great willingness to change individual mobility behaviour for the sake of climate protection," says Richard Goebelt, Head of Vehicle & Mobility at the TÜV Association. According to the survey, as many as 13 percent of all respondents consciously do without their own car in order to make their mobility sustainable and climate-friendly. There are big differences between urban and rural areas: in large cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, 21 percent do without a private car, but only 8 percent in smaller towns and communities. The situation is similar for other means of transport. In large cities, 54 percent of respondents use a bicycle whenever possible compared to 44 percent in small towns. 38 percent of city dwellers use the train for longer journeys in order to travel in a climate-friendly way (small towns/rural areas: 21 percent) and 18 percent rely on a flexible mix of public transport, bicycle and sharing services (small towns/rural areas: 8 percent). "A reduction in motorised private transport reduces noise, exhaust fumes, accidents and traffic jams. However, many city dwellers will only give up their private cars when alternative mobility services are similarly flexible, comfortable and safe," says Goebelt. According to the German citizens, the key to this lies in a more attractive public transport system and a modern transport infrastructure.


According to the results of the survey, 92 per cent consider a significant expansion of public transport networks to be important or very important, so that more people do without their own cars, and 90 per cent consider a higher frequency of buses and trains. 87 percent think that significantly reduced ticket prices to a maximum of half of the current prices in public transport could make an important contribution. Furthermore, a modernisation of the urban transport infrastructure is necessary. Four out of five respondents (79 percent) consider the significant expansion of the cycling network to be an important factor so that more people would be willing to give up their cars. A targeted rededication of streets to car-free zones where pedestrians and cyclists have priority is considered an essential measure by 55 percent. 52 percent would like to see a higher availability of car sharing vehicles, also beyond the city centre.

On the other hand, only 38 percent of all respondents are in favour of reducing traffic and parking areas for cars in favour of other means of transport. Here, too, the difference between urban and rural areas is striking: 49 percent of the inhabitants of large cities are in favour of reducing traffic areas in favour of alternative means of transport, but only 33 percent of the inhabitants of smaller cities.


Methodological note: The data is based on a representative survey of 1,004 people aged 18 and over conducted by the market research institute Forsa on behalf of the TÜV Association. The survey was conducted from 3-9 June 2021. The questions were: "Have you changed your own mobility behaviour in recent years in favour of climate-friendly travel?" "What do you do in your everyday life to make your personal mobility as sustainable and climate-friendly as possible?" And: "In cities in particular, doing without a private car could relieve road traffic and ensure less exhaust fumes, noise, congestion and accidents. In your opinion, how important are the following measures in the field of mobility to get more people to give up their own cars?"

About the TÜV Association: The Verband der TÜV e. V. (VdTÜV) represents the political and professional interests of its members vis-à-vis politics, administration, business and the public. The association is committed to technical and digital safety in products, systems and services through independent testing and qualified further training. With its members, the TÜV Association pursues the goal of maintaining the high level of technical safety in our society and creating trust for the digital world.

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22. June 2021
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