Forecasting Performance of Policy Interventions to Transition to Low-Carbon Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles
LCI author: Bo Liu
In partnership with lead-institution UC Irvine, we are studying how California can accelerate the transition to low-carbon medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and off-road equipment between 2020 and 2050. We are specifically focused on developing an incentive and regulatory program evaluation tool that consists of a total-cost-of-ownership module that estimates amortized costs of ownership for a variety of vehicle and fuel technologies, a fleet turnover module that simulates turnover and vehicle/equipment choice and forecasts future inventories, and an impact analysis module that quantifies emissions reductions, health and employment benefits, and cost effectiveness of low-carbon transportation programs. Funded by the California Air Resources Board, it will inform the agency’s incentive design and also demonstrate to fleet owners the financial case for going entirely zero-emission.
LCI authors: Daniel Coffee, J.R. DeShazo and Aditya Voleti
California has an ambitious goal: achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. How to comprehensively reduce emissions from the state’s largest source of carbon emissions — the transportation sector — has always been a vexing question. To address this, the California Environmental Protection Agency partnered with the University of California Institute of Transportation Studies on a landmark study. LCI was part of the team from UCLA, along with UC Davis, UC Berkeley and UC Irvine, that identified strategies to achieve carbon neutrality in the transportation sector by 2045. The study outlines policy options to significantly reduce transportation-related fossil fuel demand and emissions. Together, these policy options could lead to a zero-carbon transportation system by 2045, while also improving equity, health and the economy.
Authors: J.R. DeShazo and James Di Filippo
This report presents a policy agenda to place equity at the center of California’s transportation decarbonization efforts — an essential element of achieving the state’s climate goals. Highlighting challenges and opportunities amid California’s push to cut carbon emissions and local air pollution, the study underscores the fact that low-income communities hit hardest by pollution have been largely left behind in the transition to cleaner transportation. The report provides recommendations to bring an equity focus to clean transportation policy, focused primarily on reforming zero-emission vehicle adoption policies, improving transportation access, and leveraging the zero-emission transition in public and private vehicle fleets.
Authors: Gregory Pierce, Britta McOmber and J.R. DeShazo
California will require a transformation of its light-duty vehicle fleet in order to meet statewide air quality and climate change goals. As a percentage of household earnings, lower-income populations face disproportionate costs to maintain and operate a vehicle. Optimally priced incentives and financing options can therefore promote household economic well-being while generating broader environmental benefits. To do so, financial incentives should be designed to accelerate the retirement and replacement of older, high-polluting vehicles and increase the adoption of clean vehicles. Yet several challenges persist in enabling low- and moderate-income households to adopt near-zero and zero-emission vehicles in California. This report, based on an LCI survey of 1,604 low- and moderate-income households, assesses current policies and informs future strategies intended to improve clean vehicle access and use by low- and moderate-income households in California. The results help identify effective policy approaches to improve access to, and adoption of, clean vehicles.
Authors: Gregory Pierce and Rachel Connolly
This report examines the performance of the Tune In & Tune Up (TI&TU) smog repair program. TI&TU has operated in the San Joaquin Valley since 2005 and is one of the first transportation programs to include both environmental and equity considerations. The program has taken a community organizing approach to improving regional air quality by targeting for repair high-emitting light-duty vehicles in state-designated disadvantaged communities. The assessment is informing a new grassroots outreach program bringing clean vehicle, clean energy, and financial assistance programs to low-income households in Los Angeles County.
Authors: Gregory Pierce and J.R. DeShazo
The Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program (EFMP) Plus-Up pilot program is helping hundreds of low-income drivers get out of old, inefficient vehicles and into cleaner and more efficient cars. This LCI report describes how the EFMP Plus-Up pilot was implemented in the two air districts chosen for the pilot phase, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and South Coast Air Quality Management District, during the first year of program operation.
Author: J.R. DeShazo
This article evaluates the effectiveness of current clean vehicle incentive policies in the U.S. and makes recommendations for improvement. The associated study found that policymakers could facilitate more emission reductions by strategically linking vehicle purchase incentives with vehicle retirement incentives (e.g., cash for clunkers). This is because purchase incentives alone do not influence the type, timing, and pollution intensity of the retirement vehicle, a decision that is a critical determinant of emissions. Aligned with our recommendations, in 2015, the California Air Resources Board introduced the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program (EFMP) Plus-Up pilot program (as approved by Assembly Bill 118) to better integrate vehicle retirement and replacement incentive programs in support of low- to moderate- income households. See the previous report “Assessing the Design and Implementation of a Clean Vehicle Program for Low-income Californians.”
(2016 report containing results of several studies)
Authors: Tamara L. Sheldon, J.R. DeShazo, Richard T. Carson and Samuel Krumholz
This LCI report, funded in part by the California Air Resources Board, provides an overview of the growth of California’s plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market and describes key trends in the adoption of PEVs. It identifies the consumer, public policy and market factors, such as gasoline prices, correlated with the sales of new PEVs. The analysis is based on a statistical evaluation of monthly neighborhood PEV sales as a well as a survey of California’s new car buyers’ attitudes.
Authors: Tamara L. Sheldon, J.R. DeShazo and Richard T. Carson
More Californians can now afford clean vehicles, thanks in part to research involving the LCI. The researchers assessed the performance of alternative rebate designs for PEVs and compared these alternatives in terms of cost-effectiveness and equity. They found that providing progressive rebate levels based on consumer income levels would provide benefits within those performance criteria. These findings helped inform the adoption of California’s progressive rebate system in which low- and moderate-income drivers receive an additional $3,000 to $6,500 in financial incentives to purchase a clean vehicle. Additionally, income rules for most rebates limit eligibility to households with less than $500,000 in annual income.
Authors: Tamara L. Sheldon and J.R. DeShazo
Policymakers have sought to spur consumer adoption of clean vehicles by granting them single-occupancy access to carpool lanes (also called high-occupancy vehicle or HOV lanes). An LCI study offers the first causal evaluation of this policy that accommodates geographic variability in the magnitude of its treatment effect. The study finds that roughly one quarter of California PEV purchases during 2010-2013 resulted from HOV lane access policy. The research is shaping the current legislative conversation about how to best extend HOV access in the future.