New Report on High Fuel Efficiency Vehicles
High Fuel Efficiency Vehicles Can Bolster Maine’s Economy
Recent data shows that 54% of Maine’s CO2 emissions come from transportation. A new report by Jonathan Rubin, Kathryn Ballingall, and Erin Brown of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center notes that Maine’s economy can benefit from reducing transportation-related petroleum demand and emissions. This economic benefit can be achieved by increasing vehicle efficiency, switching to alternative fuels (e.g., electricity, biofuels) with lower emissions per mile, and reducing the demand for motorized transportation.
Currently, high fuel efficiency vehicles make up less than 2% of new car sales in Maine. Data suggest that programs focused on high efficiency vehicles do not affect most new vehicle purchases. Rubin, Ballingall, and Brown estimate possible fuel and greenhouse gas (GHG) savings from a used high-mile-per-gallon-vehicle incentive program for Maine. By and large, these numbers are based on common Maine vehicles and represent savings if drivers participate in the program. The reductions in GHG emissions will depend on the specifics of program implementation and the linkage of such a program with a scrappage program to remove the least efficient vehicles from Maine’s roads.