Better cars or older cars?: Assessing CO2 emission reduction potential of passenger vehicle replacement programs

Kagawa, Shigemi, Hubacek, Klaus, Nansai, Keisuke, Kataoka, Minori, Managi, Shunsuke, Suh, Sangwon, & Kudoh, Yuki (2013) Better cars or older cars?: Assessing CO2 emission reduction potential of passenger vehicle replacement programs. Global Environmental Change, 23(6), pp. 1807-1818.

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The primary motivation for the vehicle replacement schemes that were implemented in many countries was to encourage the purchase of new cars. The basic assumption of these schemes was that these acquisitions would benefit both the economy and the environment as older and less fuel-efficient cars were scrapped and replaced with more fuel-efficient models. In this article, we present a new environmental impact assessment method for assessing the effectiveness of scrappage schemes for reducing CO2 emissions taking into account the rebound effect, driving behavior for older versus new cars and entire lifecycle emissions for during the manufacturing processes of new cars. The assessment of the Japanese scrappage scheme shows that CO2 emissions would only decrease if users of the scheme retained their new gasoline passenger vehicles for at least 4.7 years. When vehicle replacements were restricted to hybrid cars, the reduction in CO2 achieved by the scheme would be 6-8.5 times higher than the emissions resulting from a scheme involving standard, gasoline passenger vehicles. Cost-benefit analysis, based on the emission reduction potential, showed that the scheme was very costly. Sensitivity analysis showed that the Japanese government failed to determine the optimum, or target, car age for scrapping old cars in the scheme. Specifically, scrapping cars aged 13 years and over did not maximize the environmental benefits of the scheme. Consequently, modifying this policy to include a reduction in new car subsidies, focused funding for fuel-efficient cars, and modifying the target car age, would increase environmental benefits. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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ID Code: 75372
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Climate change mitigation; CO2 emissions; Cost-benefit analysis; Life cycle assessment; Rebound effect; Vehicle replacement schemes
DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.07.023
ISSN: 09593780
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > APPLIED ECONOMICS (140200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Elsevier Ltd.
Deposited On: 21 Aug 2014 02:04
Last Modified: 18 May 2015 03:05

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