June 23, 2024 9:28 pm
Scrapping cars early will not help protect the planet

A recent study published in “Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability” sheds light on the effectiveness of limiting the duration of use of passenger vehicles in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The study found that imposing a 15-year limit on light-duty vehicles (LDVs) in a business-as-usual scenario had little impact on emissions.

Some have proposed introducing lifespan limits on vehicles to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and combat the delayed uptake of EVs. However, this study found that such limits could amplify negative effects of EVs, such as increased use of critical materials and ecotoxicity related to battery manufacturing. The costs of accelerated deployment of EVs were also found to be very high, exceeding current estimates for the social costs of CO2.

Researchers at the University of Toronto conducted the study and emphasized that lifespan limits should be part of a broader strategy to address greenhouse gas emissions in transportation. They used the Flame model to evaluate the effectiveness and costs of vehicle lifespan limits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from LDV fleets in the United States.

Professor Heather MacLean from the University of Toronto emphasized that while lifespan limits may have benefits in certain situations, they should be part of a multifaceted approach to achieve significant reductions in emissions. The study highlights the complexities and trade-offs involved in implementing such limits and suggests that a comprehensive strategy is necessary to tackle this issue effectively.

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