CO2 Emissions from Transport

Shiyu Yan will defend his thesis `Automobile in Transition: An Economic and Environmental Analysis of Policies for Reducing CO2 Emissions from Transport´ on Wednesday 29 November at NHH. Photo:
PhD Defense

15 November 2017 16:19

CO2 Emissions from Transport

On Wednesday 29 November 2017 Shiyu Yan will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.

Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:

Electric vehicles versus internal combustion engines: a life-cycle assessment

Shiyu Yan, Department of Business and Management Science, NHH.

Trial lecture:

10:15 in Karl Borch Aud., NHH

Title of the thesis:

Automobile in Transition: An Economic and Environmental Analysis of Policies for Reducing CO2 Emissions from Transport


This thesis evaluates the influences of recent environmental transport policies on the markets for motorized vehicles (i.e. passenger cars and other light-duty vehicles) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, such as CO2 emissions.

In the first chapter, Yan investigates the responsiveness of new vehicle registrations (sales) to a CO2 differentiated vehicle registration tax in Norway that aims to promote low-emission vehicles and reduce CO2 emissions from transport. He finds that the tax gives directed and continuous incentives to emission reductions, as high-emitting segments lose market share and become less CO2 intensive, while low-emitting segments gain market share.

Further, Yan examines the role of tax incentives for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) across Europe in reducing the total ownership cost of BEVs, increasing sales of BEVs and therefore, reducing environmental externalities, CO2 emissions and local air pollution. He finds that the tax incentives, especially registration tax exemptions, significantly reduce total ownership costs of BEVs and therefore increase BEV sales. However, it is still costly to use tax incentives to reduce CO2 emissions and other externalities through transport electrification.

Chapter 3 establishes a framework to evaluate the interactions between energy and agricultural markets and calculate the GHG emissions from biofuel production, considering exogenous changes in energy prices and the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit. The conclusion is that the emission savings are negative when based on the marginal GHG emissions from corn-based ethanol production – due in part to fertilizer application – indicating the effectiveness of the tax credit is questionable.

Chapter 4 proposes an innovative approach combining an optimization model with an economic analysis to evaluate the effects of policies for electric vehicles in the context of urban freight transport. He finds that tax exemption, subsidy and low emission zone have different impacts on logistic companies, environment and society.


12:15 in Karl Borch Aud., NHH

Members of the evaluation committee:

Professor Roar Ådland (leader of the committee), Department of Business and Management Science, NHH
Professor Mikael Rönnqvist, Université Laval
Research Associate Gernot Wagner, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


Professor Gunnar S. Eskeland, Department of Business and Management Science, NHH

The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public. Copies of the thesis will be available from

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