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Who switches to hybrids? A study of a fuel conversion program in Colombia

By C. Adrián Saldarriaga-Isaza and Carlos Vergara

Abstract

Air pollution from mobile sources is an important environmental problem in larger cities. In 2001, a program was implemented to encourage the use of natural gas in vehicles in the Aburrá Valley in Colombia, with incentives to convert small cars from gasoline and diesel to hybrid engines with natural gas, most notably a cash subsidy. Using a survey administered to both commercial and private car owners we study the determinants of conversion under this fuel conversion program. We thus obtain information about the reasons for adoption of new technologies in vehicles. This allows us to discuss the possible outcomes of this type of policy. Results show that a large part of owners who switched would have done it anyway without the subsidy. Based on the findings, commercial vehicles are most likely to be converted to natural gas vehicles.Natural gas vehicles Switch Subsidy Determinants

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