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Drivers would pay extra to cut carbon emissions

Thursday, September 19, 2013

ANN ARBOR—Most drivers are willing to pay for onboard technology that will reduce carbon emissions, as well as sacrifice some fuel economy and storage space, in order to cut greenhouse gases resulting from combustion engines, say University of Michigan researchers.

In a new online survey of driver opinion about carbon capture in vehicles, researchers at the U-M Transportation Research Institute found that respondents were willing to pay about $100 for a 20-percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and $250 for an 80-percent reduction.

Further, drivers seem willing to accept a 5-percent reduction in gas mileage and a 10-percent loss in storage space for a 20-percent cut in carbon emissions, and a 10-percent drop in fuel economy and a 16-percent loss in storage for an 80-percent reduction in emissions.

"While most efforts at containing carbon dioxide emissions are directed at large-scale stationary producers like coal-fired power plants or other industrial sources, there has also been interest in considering the feasibility of carbon capture from small distributed power plants, like gasoline-fueled internal-combustion engines ubiquitous in transportation," said John Sullivan, an assistant research scientist in UMTRI's Human Factors Group. "Various methods are under development to capture and store these gases before they enter the atmosphere." ...

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