• Primary Program Transport and Urban Infrastructure


Tamara is a visiting researcher at KAPSARC and an assistant professor of economics in the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. Her research interests include environmental and energy economics and how these fields interact with public policy. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego.


See all Tamara’s publications
  • Discussion paper
  • Instant Insight
  • KAPSARC journal article
Drivers of New Light-Duty Vehicle Fleet Fuel Economy in Saudi Arabia

Drivers of New Light-Duty Vehicle Fleet Fuel Economy in Saudi Arabia

This paper investigates the drivers of recent improvements in Saudi Arabia’s new light-duty vehicle fleet fuel economy. A vehicle choice model is estimated using aggregate and disaggregate new vehicle purchase data. The estimates are used to simulate counterfactual policy scenarios. The simulation results suggest that: Price elasticity of fuel economy for new vehicles has been decreasing in Saudi Arabia over recent years, but it is still more elastic than the new vehicle market in the United States (U.S.). Pegging Saudi Arabia’s fuel economy standards to U.S. fuel economy standards might warrant further economic evaluation. The increase in domestic gasoline prices in Saudi Arabia between 2014 and 2016 accounted for 42% of the increase in estimated new vehicle fleet fuel economy over that period. The remainder of the increase could be attributable to changes in product offerings and consumer preferences. The estimated elasticities, and thus policy sensitivities, vary by income and household size. Thus, a revenue-neutral ‘feebate’ policy – involving taxes on fuel-inefficient vehicles and rebates for fuel-efficient vehicles – could be more progressive than another gasoline price increase.

May 1, 2019
Impact of China’s Plug-In Electric Vehicle Subsidy Reduction

Impact of China’s Plug-In Electric Vehicle Subsidy Reduction

China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, has set ambitious climate goals. These include reducing the carbon intensity of its 2005 gross domestic product (GDP) by 40-45% by 2020 and by 60-65% by 2030 (Xu, Chen, and Chen 2017). A key component of the country’s overall plan to reduce its carbon emissions is its New Energy Vehicle (NEV) policy. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which run solely on electricity, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), which run on electricity and gasoline or diesel, are a major component of China’s NEV policy and market. The policy is aimed at increasing the market shares of BEVs and PHEVs. It is as much a tool to help reduce carbon emissions and local air pollution as it is an industrial policy to help China leapfrog other countries in the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV, which includes both BEVs and PHEVs) manufacturing space. Japan, Germany and the United States (U.S.) continue to be leaders in internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV) manufacturing, and China sees PEV manufacturing as a way to propel itself forward in the automotive manufacturing sector. PEV subsidies are one of the most commonly used policy levers for encouraging PEV purchases globally, including in China. They reduce the high up-front purchase price of PEVs relative to comparable ICEVs, one of the major barriers to PEV adoption. Since 2009, PEVs qualify for substantial rebates (up to US$9,000) from both the central and local Chinese governments (ICCT 2017a; Hancock 2019). Furthermore, in several big cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen, PEVs are exempt from new vehicle registration fees (ICCT 2017b). These PEV support policies have led to significant PEV market share growth in recent years, with PEVs accounting for more than 4% of new vehicle sales in 2018 (IEA 2019). However, PEV subsidies are scheduled to be cut from June 26, 2019 (Kharpal 2019) by roughly 45% to 60% (Hancock 2019; Kharpal 2019).

July 17, 2019

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