Research

Potential Design, Implementation, and Benefits of a Feebate Program for New Passenger Vehicles in California: Interim Statement of Research Findings
UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, 2010

Professor David Bunch and co-author David Greene of Oak Ridge National Laboratory completed a comprehensive study to assess the potential design, implementation, and benefits of a feebate program in California as well as possible stakeholder responses. This interim document summarizes the study’s key findings. A forthcoming project final report will include a more detailed presentation of results, and complete documentation on modeling and analysis tools, study methods, and limitations.

Feebates are a market-based policy for reducing emissions from passenger vehicles. A one-time fee is levied on relatively high-emitting vehicles when they are sold new. These funds are used to provide rebates for lower-emitting vehicles when they are sold new. As required in the scoping plan for the state’s climate change law, AB 32, ARB undertook this comprehensive study to consider measures that could be used as alternatives or complements to direct regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger vehicles.

The research team developed manufacturer and consumer models with unprecedented level of detail, accounting for vehicle redesign schedules, differences in automakers’ individual product offerings, California-specific consumer preferences, and concurrent performance-based light-duty vehicle GHG emissions standards. More than 50 distinct scenarios were developed. The UC Davis team led the modeling effort and the UC Berkeley team conducted consumer focus groups and a statewide survey.

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