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The Impact of Climate Policy on Private Car Ownership in Ireland


  • Hennessy, Hugh
  • Tol, Richard S. J.


We construct a model of the stock of private cars in the Republic of Ireland. The model distinguishes cars by fuel, engine size and age. The modelled car stock is build up from a long history of data on sales, and calibrated to recent data on actual stock. We complement the data on the number of cars with data on fuel efficiency and distance driven ? which together give fuel use and emissions ? and the costs of purchase, ownership and use. We use the model to project the car stock from 2010 to 2025. The following results emerge. The 2009 reform of the vehicle registration and motor tax has lead to a dramatic shift from petrol to diesel cars. Fuel efficiency has improved and will improve further as a result, but because diesel cars are heavier, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced but not substantially so. The projected emissions in 2020 are roughly the same as in 2007. In a second set of simulations, we impose the government targets for electrification of transport. As all-electric vehicles are likely to displace small, efficient, and little-driven petrol cars, the effect on carbon dioxide emissions is minimal. We also consider the scrappage scheme, which has little effect as it applies to a small fraction of the car stock only.

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  • Hennessy, Hugh & Tol, Richard S. J., 2010. "The Impact of Climate Policy on Private Car Ownership in Ireland," Papers WP342, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp342

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2002. "Estimating individual driving distance by car and public transport use in Sweden," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(8), pages 959-967.
    2. Smith, William J., 2010. "Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles--A low-carbon solution for Ireland?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 1485-1499, March.
    3. Mayeres, Inge & Proost, Stef, 2001. "Should diesel cars in Europe be discouraged?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 453-470, July.
    4. Alan Greenspan & Darrel Cohen, 1999. "Motor Vehicle Stocks, Scrappage, And Sales," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 369-383, August.
    5. John FitzGerald & Jonathan Hore & Ide Kearney, 2002. "A Model for Forecasting Energy Demand and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Ireland," Papers WP146, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    6. Ó Gallachóir, Brian P. & Howley, Martin & Cunningham, Stephen & Bazilian, Morgan, 2009. "How private car purchasing trends offset efficiency gains and the successful energy policy response," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 3790-3802, October.
    7. Rouwendal, Jan & de Vries, Frans, 1999. "The taxation of drivers and the choice of car fuel type," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 17-35, February.
    8. Van Schijndel, W. -J. & Dinwoodie, J., 2000. "Congestion and multimodal transport: a survey of cargo transport operators in the Netherlands," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 231-241, October.
    9. Giblin, S. & McNabola, A., 2009. "Modelling the impacts of a carbon emission-differentiated vehicle tax system on CO2 emissions intensity from new vehicle purchases in Ireland," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1404-1411, April.
    10. Pock, Markus, 2010. "Gasoline demand in Europe: New insights," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 54-62, January.
    11. Bergin, Adele & Conefrey, Thomas & FitzGerald, John & Kearney, Ide, 2009. "Recovery Scenarios for Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS007.
    12. Nolan, Anne, 2008. "A Dynamic Analysis of Household Car Ownership in Ireland," Papers WP269, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
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    Cited by:

    1. Hennessy, Hugh & Tol, Richard S.J., 2011. "The impact of tax reform on new car purchases in Ireland," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 7059-7067.
    2. Whyte, Kieran & Daly, Hannah E. & Ó Gallachóir, Brian P., 2013. "Modelling HGV freight transport energy demand in Ireland and the impacts of the property construction bubble," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 245-251.

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    Carbon dioxide emissions/Climate policy/Policy/Private car transport/Republic of Ireland/scenarios;

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