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“Cash for Clunkers” Programs Should Focus on Superusers
“Cash for Clunkers” programs, which provide government incentives for drivers to trade in their older vehicles for EVs, are gaining renewed traction in several states. But so far, these programs have a major flaw: they are not considering how much the older vehicle is driven. They would give someone who keeps a “clunker” on blocks in their driveway the same incentive as someone who drives their vehicle 30,000 miles a year.
Getting older, more polluting cars off the road is a worthy goal. But vehicles only pollute when they are driven. The more they are driven, the more they pollute. It’s time to focus Cash for Clunkers awards on the people who drive and pollute the most. Coltura’s gasoline consumption data makes it easy to identify these drivers, and odometer readings from the vehicle registration and the dashboard make it easy to calculate their average annual miles. Let’s be smart about how we spend our tax dollars, and ensure that so-called Cash for Clunkers programs prevent as much pollution as possible.