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Green drivers or free riders? An analysis of tax rebates for hybrid vehicles

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  • Chandra, Ambarish
  • Gulati, Sumeet
  • Kandlikar, Milind

Abstract

We estimate the effect of tax rebates offered by Canadian Provinces on the sales of hybrid electric vehicles. We find that these rebates led to a large increase in the market share of hybrid vehicles. In particular, we estimate that 26% of the hybrid vehicles sold during the rebate programs can be attributed to the rebate, and that intermediate cars, intermediate SUVs and some high performance compact cars were crowded out as a result. However, this implies that the rebate programs also subsidized many consumers who would have bought either hybrid vehicles or other fuel-efficient vehicles in any case. Consequently, the average cost of reducing carbon emissions from these programs is estimated to be $195 per tonne.

Suggested Citation

  • Chandra, Ambarish & Gulati, Sumeet & Kandlikar, Milind, 2010. "Green drivers or free riders? An analysis of tax rebates for hybrid vehicles," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 78-93, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:60:y:2010:i:2:p:78-93
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2008. "Using Tax Expenditures to Achieve Energy Policy Goals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 90-94, May.
    2. Diamond, David, 2009. "The impact of government incentives for hybrid-electric vehicles: Evidence from US states," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 972-983, March.
    3. Kahn, Matthew E., 2007. "Do greens drive Hummers or hybrids? Environmental ideology as a determinant of consumer choice," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 129-145, September.
    4. Andrew N. Kleit, 2004. "Impacts of Long-Range Increases in the Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standard," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(2), pages 279-294, April.
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