Skip to main content
European Commission logo

Perspectives for short cars (SVI 1999/319)

Switzerland Flag
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

Resulting from a mixture of abundance, ecological conscience and tighter parking areas in
urban areas, small vehicles with hi-tech equipment are being built for people with urban style of life.

Under the consideration of long term traffic politics, the chances and limits of the employment
of short vehicles will be analysed. The strategy for a long term development, as defined by the
confederal department of the environment, traffic, energy and communication (UVEK), sees on
one side the shift to environmentally efficient transportation and places as a prime aim and on the other side technical optimisation of individual transport and subsequently an increase in the efficiency of the traffic infrastructure.


The main objective of the project is to demonstrate the benefits and limitations of short vehicles in terms of sustainable transport policy.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Private foundation
Institution Name
Association of Transportation Engineers
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The result of the project was to demonstrate the demands of a sustainable transport policy for individual transportation. The result of the project also defines demands on short vehicles characteristics from the sustainable city mobility point of view.  

The project’s framework attempted to sketch the user-profile of drivers of short vehicles with a public opinion poll. The evaluation showed that the traffic behaviour didn’t differentiate significantly from the average car driver. For the comparison of differences in traffic behaviour between micro and mini sized vehicles (shorter than 3.55 m) and medium sized vehicles (shorter than 4.0 m) the survey was not representative.

On the basis of the factual aims of traffic from the department strategy of the UVEK, the short vehicles were investigated. The types of vehicles that supported the aims of a long term sustainable city mobility, were defined as sustainable short vehicles (NIK vehicles). For the detailed analyses of this postulate for the individual traffic, indicators were found for the trimmed aim values in the long term and limits were defined. On the basis of this precision, it shows that above all ecological aim values for NIK – vehicles can be determined, while the postulates of the economic and social long term reference themselves on the whole traffic system.  These aim values are valid for the NIK – vehicles therefore majority-wise as marginal conditions and may not through an eventual demand influence these negatively.

The emission and area usage as aim values of a long term mobility (city) traffic were more exactly investigated. The theoretical considerations, also the investigations on various reference vehicles (mainly vehicles with a length less than 4.0 m) which reflect the vehicle technique of today, show that a short vehicle doesn`t necessarily have to be a NIK – vehicle. A definition that would simplify the length, use, and application in everyday life wouldn`t be fair for a long term vehicle.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


Contribute! Submit your project

Do you wish to submit a project or a programme? Head over to the Contribute page, login and follow the process!