IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Energy efficiency versus gains in consumer amenities—An example from new cars sold in Sweden

Listed author(s):
  • Sprei, Frances
  • Karlsson, Sten
Registered author(s):

    Technological developments that increase energy efficiency result in net energy-saving benefits, provided the increased efficiency is not offset by enhanced consumer amenities. This paper analyzes the technology development/consumer amenities trade-off for new cars sold in Sweden between 1975 and 2010. We combine lessons learned from the policies in place and interviews with key actors in the car-purchasing process with statistical modeling of trends in vehicle attributes and technological development. Until 2007, consumer amenities were continuously enhanced, offsetting most of the efficiency gains of technological development; there was no strong policy push toward energy efficiency. In recent years, two major shifts have occurred. First, there has been a shift in the majority of new cars sold, from gasoline-powered engines to diesel engines. Flex-fuel vehicles have also contributed to a decline in the sales-share of pure gasoline engines. The observed shift of fuels, especially to flex-fuels, has been encouraged by policies. Second, after 2007 there have been major technological improvements, while attributes related to consumer amenities have remained flat, reversing the trends so that 77% of the technological development resulted in actual reduction of specific fuel consumption. EU targets, tax reforms, and consumer awareness have contributed to this trend change.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512009822
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 53 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 490-499

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:53:y:2013:i:c:p:490-499
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.11.017
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Sterner, Thomas, 2007. "Fuel taxes: An important instrument for climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 3194-3202, June.
    2. Kwon, Tae-Hyeong, 2006. "The determinants of the changes in car fuel efficiency in Great Britain (1978-2000)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(15), pages 2405-2412, October.
    3. Christopher R. Knittel, 2011. "Automobiles on Steroids: Product Attribute Trade-Offs and Technological Progress in the Automobile Sector," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3368-3399, December.
    4. Papagiannaki, Katerina & Diakoulaki, Danae, 2009. "Decomposition analysis of CO2 emissions from passenger cars: The cases of Greece and Denmark," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3259-3267, August.
    5. Turrentine, Tom & Kurani, Kenneth S, 2007. "Car buyers and fuel economy?," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt56x845v4, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    6. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polanía Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A preference-Based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2009-11, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    7. Greene, David L. & Patterson, Philip D. & Singh, Margaret & Li, Jia, 2005. "Feebates, rebates and gas-guzzler taxes: a study of incentives for increased fuel economy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 757-775, April.
    8. Copenhagen Economics, 2010. "Company Car Taxation," Taxation Papers 22, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    9. Meyer, I. & Wessely, S., 2009. "Fuel efficiency of the Austrian passenger vehicle fleet--Analysis of trends in the technological profile and related impacts on CO2 emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 3779-3789, October.
    10. Zachariadis, Theodoros, 2006. "On the baseline evolution of automobile fuel economy in Europe," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(14), pages 1773-1785, September.
    11. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polanía Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A Preference-based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2734, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Berggren, Christian & Magnusson, Thomas, 2012. "Reducing automotive emissions—The potentials of combustion engine technologies and the power of policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 636-643.
    13. Lee Schipper & Céline Marie-Lilliu & Lew Fulton, 2002. "Diesels in Europe: Analysis of Characteristics, Usage Patterns, Energy Savings and CO 2 Emission Implications," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 36(2), pages 305-340, May.
    14. Clerides, Sofronis & Zachariadis, Theodoros, 2008. "The effect of standards and fuel prices on automobile fuel economy: An international analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2657-2672, September.
    15. Cuenot, François, 2009. "CO2 emissions from new cars and vehicle weight in Europe; How the EU regulation could have been avoided and how to reach it?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 3832-3842, October.
    16. Turrentine, Thomas S. & Kurani, Kenneth S., 2007. "Car buyers and fuel economy?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1213-1223, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:53:y:2013:i:c:p:490-499. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.