Costs and benefits of automotive fuel economy improvement: A partial analysis

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This paper is an exercise in estimating the costs and benefits of technology-based fuel economy improvements for automobiles and light trucks. Benefits quantified include vehicle cots, fuel savings, consumer's surplus effects, the effect of reduced weight on vehicle safety, impacts on emissions of CO{sub 2} and criteria pollutants, world oil market and energy security benefits, and the transfer of wealth from US consumes to oil producers. A vehicle stock model is used to capture sales, scrappage, and vehicle use effects under three fuel price scenarios. Three alternative fuel economy levels for 2001 are considered, ranging from 32.9 to 36.5 MPG ... continued below

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Pages: (111 p)

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Greene, D.L. (Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States)) & Duleep, K.G. (Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc., Arlington, VA (United States)) March 1, 1992.

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Description

This paper is an exercise in estimating the costs and benefits of technology-based fuel economy improvements for automobiles and light trucks. Benefits quantified include vehicle cots, fuel savings, consumer's surplus effects, the effect of reduced weight on vehicle safety, impacts on emissions of CO{sub 2} and criteria pollutants, world oil market and energy security benefits, and the transfer of wealth from US consumes to oil producers. A vehicle stock model is used to capture sales, scrappage, and vehicle use effects under three fuel price scenarios. Three alternative fuel economy levels for 2001 are considered, ranging from 32.9 to 36.5 MPG for cars and 24.2 to 27.5 MPG for light trucks. Fuel economy improvements of this size are probably cost-effective. The size of the benefit, and whether there is a benefit, strongly depends on the financial costs of fuel economy improvement and judgments about the values of energy security, emissions, safety, etc. Three sets of values for eight parameters are used to define the sensitivity of costs and benefits to key assumptions. The net present social value (1989$) of costs and benefits ranges from a cost of $11 billion to a benefit of $286 billion. The critical parameters being the discount rate (10% vs. 3%) and the values attached to externalities. The two largest components are always the direct vehicle costs and fuel savings, but these tend to counterbalance each other for the fuel economy levels examined here. Other components are the wealth transfer, oil cost savings, CO{sub 2} emissions reductions, and energy security benefits. Safety impacts, emissions of criteria pollutants, and consumer's surplus effects are relatively minor components. The critical issues for automotive fuel economy are therefore: (1) the value of present versus future costs and benefits, (2) the values of external costs and benefits, and (3) the financially cost-effective level of MPG achievable by available technology. 53 refs.

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Pages: (111 p)

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OSTI; NTIS; GPO Dep.

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  • Other: DE92014940
  • Report No.: ORNL-6704
  • Grant Number: AC05-84OR21400
  • DOI: 10.2172/5203062 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5203062
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1056378

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  • March 1, 1992

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Jan. 22, 2018, 7:23 a.m.

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  • Feb. 1, 2018, 6:16 p.m.

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Greene, D.L. (Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States)) & Duleep, K.G. (Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc., Arlington, VA (United States)). Costs and benefits of automotive fuel economy improvement: A partial analysis, report, March 1, 1992; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1056378/: accessed September 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.