“Measuring the Environmental Benefits from Transportation Electrification: Urban Electric Buses”
Stephen Holland (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
Joint with Erin Mansur (Dartmouth), Nicholas Muller (Carnegie Mellon University), and Andrew Yates (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
We determine the environmental benefit of using electric buses rather than diesel for urban transit. For diesel buses, we calculate air pollution damages using an integrated assessment model (AP3). For electric buses we initially use marginal damage estimates from the literature. The environmental benefit of operating an electric bus fleet (rather than diesel) is about $70 million per year in Los Angeles and above $9 million per year in five other MSA’s. Thirteen MSA’s have benefits which exceed 10/c per mile, and the benefit in Los Angeles exceeds 60/c per mile. We also explore three methods for determining more spatially disaggregated estimates of marginal damages from electricity consumption. Two of the methods use OLS, and one uses a machine learning technique (Lasso). Using data from Texas, which allows for a rich set of controls, we show these methods provide similar estimates for the three largest regions. Moreover, two of the methods may work reasonably well in other parts of the country for which detailed controls have not been available.
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