Hold on to your old gas guzzler! Keeping older vehicles a year longer instead of trading them in for all-electric models REDUCES the carbon footprint of cars by 30.7 million tons
- A new study suggests it’s better to keep an old gas-powered car than trading it in for a new all-electric model
- This is because there will be more vehicles on the road after the swap
- Electric vehicle production also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions
- The average person keeps the same car for seven years, and the study suggests keeping it 10% longer to drastically reduce emissions
A handful of US states and countries around the world will ban the sale of new gas-powered cars as early as 2030, but a new study shows that sticking to your “gas guzzler” is better than switching to the green tech.
Researchers from Kyushu University in Japan found that using cars with good fuel efficiency for longer could reduce carbon dioxide emissions significantly more than an accelerated transition to alternative fuel vehicles.
This was discovered after the team conducted a case study of newly registered and used cars in Japan between 1990 and 2016, which allowed them to model how ‘replacement behavior’ affects the country’s carbon footprint.
Results of the study showed that if a car is kept 10 percent longer, the average ownership of a car is seven years, the total carbon footprint of cars would decrease by 30.7 million tons.
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Results of the study showed that if a car is kept 10 percent longer, the average ownership of a car is seven years, the total carbon footprint of cars would decrease by 30.7 million tons
Shigemi Kagawa, professor at the economics faculty of Kyushu University and leader of the study, said in a pronunciation: ‘The faster you replace a car, the more CO2 it emits. This is no different for electric cars, because when the demand for new cars increases, production emissions skyrocket.
The average lifespan of a vehicle, according to the study, is about 13 years — this starts from the time it’s bought and ends when it’s thrown in a scrap yard.
However, the average life of a new car by the first owner is only seven years.
Of the approximately nine percent of Japan’s total greenhouse gas emissions attributed to automobiles, approximately 40 percent is due to the combustion of gasoline by driving new cars and twenty-four percent to their manufacture.
The study comes as much of the world switches from gas-guzzlers to all-electric vehicles (stock)
On the other hand, in 2019, the Environment Protection Agency reported that greenhouse gas emissions from transportation accounted for about 29 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the US, making it the largest contributor in the nation.
“We hypothesize that extending current internal combustion vehicles during the transition to green vehicles is a viable strategy to help the environment,” says Kagawa.
By this, the team means that the first owner of the vehicle would have to hold the car longer to make an impression – there would be fewer cars on the road.
“This means we can reduce CO2 emissions just by keeping and driving cars for longer,” concludes Kagawa.
‘Moreover, the effect is greater if the car we keep is relatively new and economical. So the next time you consider buying a new car, consider whether your current car has a few more miles on the odometer.’
However, a number of US states and other countries want to ban the sale of new gas cars in the hope that consumers will switch to the green technology.
California, Massachusetts and New York are just some of the 12 states that have set 2030 or 2035 before the start of the ban.
While China, Japan, UK, South Korea, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Slovenia, Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Canada all do the same.