Cleaning Up California’s Vehicles

Tuning the Policy Mix

by Lloyd Dixon

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This research brief describes work documented in California’s Ozone-Reduction Strategy for Light-Duty Vehicles: Direct Costs, Direct Emission Effects, and Market Responses (MR-695-ICJ), California’s Ozone Reduction Strategy for Light-Duty Vehicles: An Economic Assessment (MR-695/1-ICJ), Economic Perspectives on Revising California’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Mandate (CT-137) and Making ZEV Policy Despite Uncertainty: An Annotated Briefing for the California Air Resources Board (DRU-1266-2-ICJ).

Excerpt: To provide a firmer empirical basis for decisionmaking, Institute for Civil Justice economists Lloyd Dixon and Steven Garber analyzed the costs and emission effects of California's strategy for reducing emissions from light-duty vehicles — passenger cars and light-duty trucks. Light-duty vehicles account for about one-third of all pollutants that form ozone. (Ozone is created in the lower atmosphere when reactive organic gases (ROG) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) react chemically in the presence of sunlight.) The most controversial component of California's strategy is the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, which requires that manufacturers produce for sale emission-free vehicles.

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