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Discussion Starter #1
This is very interesting news, as a way to help the auto industry get on its feet after the Coronavirus, Ford wants the US to bring back the Cash for Clunkers program.

“We think some level of stimulus somewhere on the other side of this would help not only the auto industry and our dealers, which are a huge part of our overall economy, but will help the customers as well,” Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said in a phone interview. “We’re in discussions about what would be the most appropriate.”

Those discussions are internal at Ford for now, but are eventually expected to involve the federal government, LaNeve said a day after automakers reported their slowest monthly pace of U.S. sales in a decade. One model being considered is the 2009 “cash for clunkers” program that helped stimulate auto sales following the global financial crisis by encouraging drivers to turn in an older car in exchange for thousands of dollars toward buying a new one.

“Cash for clunkers was very effective at that time,” LaNeve said. “It would be nice to think we could have something equally as effective for 2020 when we get out of this because it was a great program.”


I never thought I'd hear about Cash for Clunkers again but it's an interesting idea. It could be a great way to get inefficient cars off the road and push people towards more efficient gas and electric cars. Who knows there could be more Mach-E sales because of it.

 

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I never thought I'd hear about Cash for Clunkers again but it's an interesting idea. It could be a great way to get inefficient cars off the road and push people towards more efficient gas and electric cars. Who knows there could be more Mach-E sales because of it.
Not likely to happen. The political climate in the US today is very different from 2009.
 

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Is it better for the environment to build a new car that replaces an old polluting one, or is it better to build fewer new cars and keep the old cars going? Which saves more emissions? I've heard arguments for both sides but I'm still unclear what the consensus is.
 

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Is it better for the environment to build a new car that replaces an old polluting one, or is it better to build fewer new cars and keep the old cars going? Which saves more emissions? I've heard arguments for both sides but I'm still unclear what the consensus is.
Well, I would say objective data is what should decide that, rather than subjective arguments. My wife has a 2015 Dodge Durango that gets 17 miles to the gallon, and we put about 8000 miles a year on it - which is around 470 gallons a year. Assuming she trades that in for a new escape hybrid that gets around 40 miles to the gallon, we would reduce consumption to 200 gallons a year (for sake of argument we'll ignore the plugin hybrid). Each gallon of gas has around 5 pounds of carbon in it, so the net difference just in carbon dioxide is 1350 pounds of CO2 per year - not counting sulfur dioxide or any of the other pollutants in a gallon of gasoline. Just replacing her relatively new SUV would save over 13,000 pounds (7 tons) of CO2 over a 10 year period. Compare that with the one-time carbon cost to generate the electricity to build the car over a few week span, and I think it is clear which is better.

Now imagine scaling that up to 50k, 100k, or even 250k cars.
 

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Each gallon of gas has around 5 pounds of carbon in it, so the net difference just in carbon dioxide is 1350 pounds of CO2 per year - not counting sulfur dioxide or any of the other pollutants in a gallon of gasoline. Just replacing her relatively new SUV would save over 13,000 pounds (7 tons) of CO2 over a 10 year period.
Whoops, I screwed that up. The 5 pounds of carbon combines with oxygen, producing 19 or 20 pounds of CO2 per gallon (depending on rounding). So the actual weight of CO2 emissions in my example should be over 5000 pounds a year, or 25 tons over a ten year period.
 

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I guess the math gets even better when you introduce an EV over the same 10 year period.
 

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Is it better for the environment to build a new car that replaces an old polluting one, or is it better to build fewer new cars and keep the old cars going? Which saves more emissions? I've heard arguments for both sides but I'm still unclear what the consensus is.
Carbon Brief ran a really good review of this question recently:

The answer is it's definitely better to build a new EV to get a less efficient car off the road but how quickly that pays off depends on a number of factors (efficiency of car being replaced, electricity source being used to charge, etc.). This article discusses most of those.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ford isn't the only car company now that wants to bring the program back. Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are calling for the same thing in Germany.


Germany’s auto industry and senior politicians are stepping up calls for another “cash for clunkers” program to revive demand after the coronavirus crisis as Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG gradually restart output in European factories this week.

Ensuring cars are sold to customers is critical for the production ramp-up, VW brand Chief Operating Officer Ralf Brandstatter said Monday in an emailed statement. “A sales support can be a sensible contribution to climate protection,” he added, suggesting that the program could be geared toward a low CO2 output.

Germany’s export-driven car sector has been severely hit by shutdowns across the globe to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. Across Europe, car sales dropped the most on record in March as showrooms closed to help limit the coronavirus outbreak and production was halted globally.

A scrapping program to trade in older vehicles for new ones helped Germany’s economy to emerge swiftly from the fallout of the financial crisis a decade ago. Manufacturing of vehicles and car parts is the largest industrial sector in Europe’s biggest economy and it safeguards hundreds of thousands of jobs across the region.

Germany reopened its car dealerships on Monday as it starts easing some of its lockdown measures. But Brandstatter argues that this probably won’t be sufficient to bring the industry back into swing.

Daimler AG said in an emailed statement measures that could strengthen demand “in times of strong insecurity among customers” would be “worth considering.”

The auto industry “needs to be at least as strong after the crisis as before the crisis,” BMW AG Chief Executive Officer Oliver Zipse told Bavarian State Premier Markus Soeder in a speech in on Apr. 8, adding that this is why he supports a bonus for environmentally friendly cars.

The leaders of the German states where VW, Daimler and BMW are headquartered have voiced support to help the industry, but it’s unclear how much traction the calls have gained on a federal level.

“There are currently different demands and proposals from the automobile industry,” a spokeswoman for the Economy Ministry said in a statement. “We follow them closely of course. But there is currently no decision yet,” she added.

Crisis Meeting
Top car industry officials and labor unions are scheduled to discuss ways to overcome the economic crisis on May 5 with the German chancellery in Berlin, according to a government official. Berlin does not rule out a “cash for clunkers” scheme, but there is currently no plan for it, the person added.

German economy minister Peter Altmaier acknowledged in an interview with Handelsblatt the industry is facing major challenges, but avoided a clear commitment toward additional support. He merely mentioned that existing state aid packages start showing effects.

“It is in Europe’s interest that this key strategic sector not only recovers, but also is revitalized in order to make a strong contribution to the EU’s industrial strategy, the European Green Deal as well as the continent’s global innovation leadership,” Eric-Mark Huitema, the director general of European lobby group ACEA said last week. About 13.8 million Europeans work in the auto industry, accounting for 6.1% of all jobs in the bloc, according to ACEA.
 

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Auto manufacturers would love it, of course. Any manufacturer of anything would love to get taxpayer subsidies to boost their sales. Automobiles... cell phones... TVs... furniture... appliances... drones... Xboxes... you name it.
 

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Boosting sales is what the economy will need. The money someone saves on a car purchase will most likely be spent on something else. I prefer incentive programs to outright bailouts.

Another important fact to consider with C4C: they destroy the trade-in vehicle to avoid a glut in the used car market, since increased supply of used vehicles would decrease their residual value.
The problem i have is the astronomical amount of waste created by all these destroyed vehicles. Both the physical matter and energy to recycle.
 

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Boosting sales is what the economy will need. The money someone saves on a car purchase will most likely be spent on something else. I prefer incentive programs to outright bailouts.

Another important fact to consider with C4C: they destroy the trade-in vehicle to avoid a glut in the used car market, since increased supply of used vehicles would decrease their residual value.
The problem i have is the astronomical amount of waste created by all these destroyed vehicles. Both the physical matter and energy to recycle.
Not to mention the pure loss of value. Prematurely destroying a still functional vehicle to force a replacement reduces the total value in the equation.

It's the classic Broken Window Fallacy.
 
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