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

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  • Whitehead, Jake
  • Franklin, Joel P.
  • Washington, Simon

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 250-267.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:74:y:2015:i:c:p:250-267
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2015.02.016
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Langbroek, Joram H.M. & Franklin, Joel P. & Susilo, Yusak O., 2016. "The effect of policy incentives on electric vehicle adoption," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 94-103.
    2. Beser Hugosson, Muriel & Algers, Staffan & Habibi, Shiva & Sundbergh, Pia, 2016. "Evaluation of the Swedish car fleet model using recent applications," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 30-40.
    3. Assoumou, Edi & Marmorat, Jean-Paul & Roy, Valérie, 2015. "Investigating long-term energy and CO2 mitigation options at city scale: A technical analysis for the city of Bologna," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 92(P3), pages 592-611.
    4. Xu, Bin & Lin, Boqiang, 2016. "Differences in regional emissions in China's transport sector: Determinants and reduction strategies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 459-470.
    5. Galvin, Ray, 2016. "Rebound effects from speed and acceleration in electric and internal combustion engine cars: An empirical and conceptual investigation," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 207-216.

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