Transitioning to energy efficient vehicles: An analysis of the potential rebound effects and subsequent impact upon emissions

Whitehead, Jake, Franklin, Joel P., & Washington, Simon (2015) Transitioning to energy efficient vehicles: An analysis of the potential rebound effects and subsequent impact upon emissions. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 74, pp. 250-267.

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Abstract

Given the shift toward energy efficient vehicles (EEVs) in recent years, it is important that the effects of this transition are properly examined. This paper investigates some of these effects by analyzing annual kilometers traveled (AKT) of private vehicle owners in Stockholm in 2008. The difference in emissions associated with EEV adoption is estimated, along with the effect of a congestion-pricing exemption for EEVs on vehicle usage. Propensity score matching is used to compare AKT rates of different vehicle owner groups based on the treatments of: EEV ownership and commuting across the cordon, controlling for confounding factors such as demographics. Through this procedure, rebound effects are identified, with some EEV owners found to have driven up to 12.2% further than non-EEV owners. Although some of these differences could be attributed to the congestion-pricing exemption, the results were not statistically significant. Overall, taking into account lifecycle emissions of each fuel type, average EEV emissions were 50.5% less than average non-EEV emissions, with this reduction in emissions offset by 2.0% due to rebound effects. Although it is important for policy-makers to consider the potential for unexpected negative effects in similar transitions, the overall benefit of greatly reduced emissions appears to outweigh any rebound effects present in this case study.

Impact and interest:

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6 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 82543
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Congestion Tax, Energy Efficient Vehicles, Usage, Propensity Score Matching
DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2015.02.016
ISSN: 09658564
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > APPLIED ECONOMICS (140200) > Transport Economics (140217)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > ECONOMETRICS (140300) > Cross-Sectional Analysis (140301)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > ECONOMETRICS (140300) > Time-Series Analysis (140305)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V
Deposited On: 18 Mar 2015 04:19
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2015 00:11

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