First, a UBC prof criticizes rebate programs that encourage the purchase of hybrids:
Hybrid vehicles produce scant environmental benefits, high costThen Seth Zeren over at World Changing starts off a parking article by asking When does a Prius have the same environmental impact as a Hummer? and answers: "The 95 percent of the time it’s parked."
“If the intention of rebate programs is to replace gas guzzlers with hybrids, they are failing,” says Ambarish Chandra, a professor at UBC’s Sauder School of Business and study co-author. He says large vehicle sales have risen steadily since the introduction of hybrid rebates.
The study finds that hybrid sales have come largely at the expense of small, relatively fuel-efficient, conventional cars, rather than large SUVs, trucks and vans, which produce substantially greater carbon emissions.
“People are choosing hybrids over similarly priced small- and medium-sized conventional cars, which are not far behind hybrids for fuel efficiency and emissions,” says Chandra. “The reductions in carbon emissions are therefore not great."
And to cap it off, my favorite London Congestion Charge non-supporter, supporter Mayor Boris Johnson is reported by ITS International to be up some new and inconvenient truths.
Review of London congestion charge rulesI am all for more efficient and/or cleaner energy sources. But how will the gas-tax fare by the time we get there?
Monday 10 August 2009
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Transport for London (TfL) have announced a review of existing exemptions from the congestion charge for motorists coming into central London, due to increasing pressure from campaigners that the current system is unfair. At present, only electric and hybrid cars are exempt from the charge, while many petrol and diesel-powered cars now have lower carbon emissions than hybrids due to significant advances in technology.
There are 20 non-hybrid cars with lower emissions than a second generation Toyota Prius, which emits 105g/km of CO2. The new Ford Fiesta, meanwhile, emits just 98g/km and the Volvo C30 104g/km. However, there are also hybrids that are exempt but have much higher emissions than most normal cars, such as the Lexus RH450x (148g/km) and GS300 (226g/km). Johnson said that he and TfL are considering changing the exemption rules so that the congestion charge is based on actual emissions, rather than technology.