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  1. However, in terms of cost-effectiveness (measured in terms of $ per ton of pollutant removed) it is much cheaper to attack stationary rather than mobile sources. In Southern California, for example, it is 2.4 times more expensive ($3,503 relative to $1,477 per ton per day) to reduce pollution by mobile-source rather than stationary-source measures (Lee, 2000).

  2. In 1999 and 2000 Houston overtook Los Angeles, although two years do not establish a firm trend. Nevertheless, for the first time since records were taken, there was no first-stage smog alert in 1999 in Los Angeles (there had been 120 in 1979).

  3. The basic point is that the plot of x/a against a/x will be a rectangular hyperbola, and that a plot of y/a against a/x will tend towards a rectangular hyperbola (Brindle, 1994).

  4. In California, settlement is becoming more compact with population growth running ahead of land absorption in most counties, but this is largely the result of high land prices (Landis, 1999). Market forces achieve what planners find difficult.

  5. In Southern California, ARCO, now bought out by BP, (which supplies about 20 percent of California's diesel fuel) is already planning to sell a much cleaner low-sulfur diesel fuel (the sulfur content has been reduced by 87.5 percent), especially for municipal fleet vehicles. The cost will probably be another 5 cents per gallon, and a new catalytic converter is required, but this is a much cheaper solution than buying the more expensive alternative fuel vehicles.

  6. For example, it is estimated that it would cost $1 billion to convert California's 17,000 diesel school bus fleet to natural gas (only 3 percent of school buses run on natural gas, compared with 20 percent of urban transit buses). Although buses account for only 1 percent of total direct diesel emissions, schoolchildren are considered to be especially vulnerable, although no precise measurements exist for their level of exposure. An obvious priority is to retire the 1,000 or so pre-1977 buses that are especially high-polluting.

  7. Hong Kong is the sixth in the world in PM pollution, a reflection of the 30 percent diesel share in the vehicle fleet (including trucks, buses, minibuses and taxis).

  8. In this paper, I do not join in the controversy whether or not automobile emissions fees would have been more cost-effective than the emission control mandates. The mandates approach was certainly more politically acceptable and involved lower transaction costs.

  9. The Nissan Motor Co. has introduced in the year 2000 a SULEV (Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle) Sentra that reduces HCs by 75 percent and NOx by 90 percent compared with today's cleanest vehicles. It was first introduced in California, and is also the first car to be certified by CARB as eligible to receive credits to meet the 2003 10 percent ZEV goal. Interestingly, the Nissan Motor Co. believes that their technology is so clean that they can bypass the hybrids altogether and move on to fuel cell technology. Honda is also introducing a SULEV Accord EX, again only in California.

  10. Also, it would be wrong to assert that technological solutions are always a complete success. An example is the methanol-based gasoline additive, MTBE. Effective in reducing emissions, it was discovered that it had leaked into groundwater supplies, raising the possibility of cancer risks. Accordingly, California is phasing out its use, followed by the EPA with a nationwide ban. Fortunately, there are substitutes (e.g. ethanol-based additives) that are almost as effective, although their unintended consequences (and probably higher costs) also need to be examined.

  11. As opposed to the astronomic prices of the early EVs, the Honda Insight with air-conditioning has a MSRP of $20,080 ( the price of the Toyota Prius is similar). This is still high compared with equivalent traditional ICE vehicles, but the margin is narrowing.

  12. Honda joined other companies and the California Air Resources Board to form the California Fuel Cell Partnership, also in April 1999. The company is currently developing both hydrogen-fueled and methanol-fueled prototypes with a target date of 2003 for a production model.

  13. The gains from further improvements in aerodynamic efficiency should not be underrated. Achieving the "ultra-sleek" is probably much less expensive than achieving the "ultra-light."

  14. For an early argument on these lines, prior to the recent developments in hybrid technology, see Gordon and Richardson (1995).

  15. However, the Honda Insight is the first commercial product to receive an award from the Sierra Club.

  16. The Prius may sell better in Europe where high gasoline prices would result in dramatic savings in operating costs. In more general terms, analysts have estimated that the shift from ICE vehicles to hybrids could halve the EU's 2010 urban fuel consumption forecast and reduce the non-urban forecast by 30 percent (Ellis, 1999, p. 23).

  17. The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) has spent $294 million on battery development since 1991. Progress on the Ni-MH (nickel-metal hydride) battery has stalled, and future efforts are being devoted to lithium batteries.

  18. In contrast, the aluminum Honda Insight weighs 2089 lb. (with air-conditioning), despite a heavy battery stack.

  19. However, only BMW has a demonstration vehicle currently available (unlike the other automobile companies BMW is pursuing a liquid hydrogen technology). None of the other companies expect to have a demonstration vehicle before 2004 or 2005, and noone plans retail sales before 2010 at the earliest.

  20. Nivola (1999) argues that higher fuel taxes are a much better approach than tougher CAFE standards (for example, more fuel-efficient vehicles induce people to drive more), but Republicans in Congress may object somewhat less to tighter CAFE standards than to higher taxes.

  21. Housing mobility is quite fast (households change homes every five to seven years). However, this will only have an impact on densities if mobile households choose more compactness. In fact, many homeowners trade up to larger houses and larger lots, while renters changing tenure to homeowners almost always move to a lower density.

  22. As an example of an extreme incentive, Arizona allowed you to claim 50 percent of the EV price or $10,000 (whichever is the larger) and carry the tax credit forward five years (then add on the Federal tax credit of 10 percent of the purchase price). For instance, Arizona would have paid you more than $2000 to purchase a GEM E825 (not much more than a cute, glorified golf cart) for free. Extend this level of subsidies to hybrids, and Toyota and Honda would not be able to produce them fast enough! However, budgetary considerations have forced arizona to cut back on its largesse.

  23. A downside, of course, is that the cheaper operating costs of the hybrid might encourage more VMT with increasing congestion if hybrid penetration of the market is significant. However, this paper focuses on the single goal of reducing air pollution.

  24. A well-known auto industry analyst, Dean Bedford, has argued that we must "get away from the extension cord and the electric vehicle" (cited in the Los Angeles Times, April 29, 1999).

  25. However, hybrids with an all-electric range of 50 miles and 10,000 annual VMT have total emissions close to a true EV (Burke and Miller, 1997).

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