Philippe Quirion is Research Director at CNRS, CIRED
Tackling car emissions in urban areas: Shift, Avoid, Improve (join work with Marion Leroutier)
The environmental externalities associated with car use represent a significant cost to society. Using a representative transport survey from the Paris area, we investigate to what extent car use could be shifted to low-emission modes, avoided via teleworking, or improved via a transition to electric vehicles. According to our scenario analysis based on counterfactual travel time data for 45,000 observed car trips, 40% of car users could realistically shift to e-bike mostly or public transit in a few cases with an increase in travel time of one minute per day on average. Such modal shift would reduce CO2 and local pollutant emissions from daily mobility by around 15%, generating climate and health benefits worth around e140 million per year. Inability to undertake a modal shift is associated with living in the outer suburbs, being retired, being a man and having a high income. Another 5% of total emissions could be avoided if all the \car-dependent” individuals able to work from home did so for two days a week. Holding demand for mobility and public transport infrastructure fixed, achieving greater emission reductions would require improving car use via a transition to electric vehicles.
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