El impacto de la retirada de vehículos contaminantes
Últimamente, en charlas varias sobre el tema, insisto mucho en que una de las políticas que yo consideraría seriamente para avanzar en la transición energética sería el apoyo a la retirada de vehículos contaminantes (y antiguos, generalmente). Esto, como decía hace tiempo, puede suponer un problema de equidad, salvo que, como también decía, se utilice sólo para las personas con rentas bajas (combinado con una prohibición de uso de vehículos contaminantes, para que los que sí tienen renta suficiente cambien de coche, pero estos sin subsidio). En este paper que me llegó hace unos días al correo se analiza algo similar, concluyendo que el programa no genera free-riding, y además es más efectivo que los programas de subsidios generalizados.
Vehicle Retirement and Replacement Policy: Assessing Impact and Cost-Effectiveness Discussion paper
Governments across the world, motivated by air quality improvement or by climate change mitigation goals, are trying to accelerate the turnover of older, higher-emitting vehicles and replace these with lower emission vehicles. One approach is to encourage consumers to scrap their old, inefficient and more polluting vehicles and buy new ones, typically plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). This can be expensive on a per-additional-vehicle basis if fixed subsidy programs allow those owners who would have replaced their vehicles with a low emission vehicle anyway to obtain these subsidies.
Previous KAPSARC research used counterfactual simulations (comparing actual results with what would have happened in the absence of the intervention) to highlight the fact that policymakers might increasingly switch to targeted subsidy designs to improve the cost-effectiveness of low emission vehicle subsidies. This study, however, explores the effectiveness of a real-world targeted subsidy policy, California’s ‘Replace Your Ride’ (RYR) program. RYR encourages lower-income households living in districts with poor local air quality to retire older vehicles and replace them with newer, cleaner vehicles. The effectiveness of the RYR policy is measured using new vehicle registration and other data in a difference-in-differences analysis framework designed to stimulate a control group.
Additional sales of low emission vehicles resulting from the RYR policy are high. Sales of PEVs increased by around half and sales of HEVs by more than three-quarters. These additional sales would not have been made without the RYR subsidy.
The per additional PEV cost of less than $17,600 results in the geography and income-based subsidy design of RYR being1.5 times more cost-effective than California’s previous income independent version of the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, under which all buyers of new clean vehicles in California received the same rebate.
The lower upfront cost and therefore lower subsidy required for HEVs relative to PEVs, combined with the high percentage of additional HEV sales due to the targeted subsidy design, keep the HEV subsidy as cost-effective as the PEV subsidy. Comparing the cost-effectiveness of the HEV subsidy relative to the PEV subsidy under the RYR policy, the ratio of costs for HEVs compared to PEVs ranges from 1.35 to 2.1 in terms of per additional vehicle cost and from 0.83 to 1.31 in terms of the cost per additional gallon of gasoline saved.