Cleaner Cars, More Emissions

Via Planetizen:

So says a report from Sweden. Apparently feeling better about what you’re driving might make you drive more.

9 responses to “Cleaner Cars, More Emissions”

  1. I would look at the advantage of alternative fueled cars or high mpg cars as a means of saving money. With as many innovations as are being analyzed and invented right now, fuel efficiency can, at least, be on a permanent upward trajectory. Not saying it necessarily will, but the science is there…

    So I wouldn’t be too concerned by this report.

  2. I’m not surprised that this effect was found in Sweden. They have a strong public transit system with high utilization. Their green-car subsidies skewed the market by making these cars cheaper. This is not the case in the United States, as the vast majority of our green cars are going to people that already drive for most of their trips anyway.

    At any rate, it is still a good cautionary tale. We need to punish bad behavior (excessive fuel consumption) instead of rewarding good. This can be done through gas tax increases, which are badly needed to fund the highway trust fund. Once you raise the gas tax by a large amount, there is no need to subsidize electric cars or hybrids. Let the market decide.

  3. For a combination of reasons, our Prius gets its best in-town MPG on a particular trip we take out to Oak Grove regularly. I joke that we should drive it much more often so we’ll have a higher MPG rating on the computer display, thus saving gas. :-)

  4. I’m going to look for a link, but when I posed the same question to the Drum Major Institute, they sent me a link to a meta-study showing that on average, the effect of people driving more when they get more fuel-efficient cars is only about 20%; the remaining 80% is still saved fuel.

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