Estimating car use rebound effects from Swedish microdata
Journal article, 2019

The direct rebound effect for private car transport was estimated by following a large sample of Swedish households (28,876) that acquired a new car in 2009. For some households, this resulted in an improvement in fuel efficiency, whereas others acquired a less or similarly fuel efficient car. The households' travel distances were measured and analysed for a period of 3 years before and 3 years after the car was replaced. This approach differs from previous econometric analyses in which fleet-average changes in distance travelled were studied, often using fluctuations in fuel cost as a proxy for changes in fuel efficiency. No significant bivariate relationship was found between changes in fuel efficiency and annual distance travelled but a multivariate analysis that also included changes in income, number of cars in the household, car weight and car power, resulted in a significant rebound effect of 24 %. Households who bought a car that was labelled 'green' did not exhibit any rebound effect, while households who bought a 'normal' car displayed a rebound effect of 32 %. This could indicate that households that buy a car with improved fuel efficiency for environmental reasons also avoid the economically induced rebound effect. The analysis did not indicate any significant differences in the rebound effect between different socio-demographic groups.


Rebound effect


Fuel efficiency


David Andersson

University of Gothenburg

Ross Linscott

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Jonas Nässén

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Energy Efficiency

1570-646X (ISSN) 1570-6478 (eISSN)

Vol. 12 8 2215-2225

Peak car: analysis of trends and their implications for transport planning

Formas, 2015-01-01 -- 2019-03-31.

Subject Categories

Economic History

Transport Systems and Logistics




More information

Latest update