The Treadmill of Alternatively Fueled Vehicle Production
Human Ecology Review
This paper examines the extent to which alternatively fueled vehicles (AFVs) act as a counterforce to traditional fuel consumption in the United States. I estimate a time-series cross-sectional Prais-Winsten regression model with panel-corrected standard errors to explore how increases in the proportion of AFVs influences fuel consumption rates per vehicle. Findings indicate that AFVs are increasing the average fuel consumption rates of vehicles. Using an additional time-series cross-sectional Prais-Winsten regression model with panel-corrected standard errors, I demonstrate that at least part of this correlation is due to AFVs’ positive relationship to travel. I explain this phenomenon using the treadmill of production theory (a prominent theory in environmental sociology), and argue that AFVs up until this point have been used to expand development, and in turn environmental impacts. Furthermore, I argue that the inability of AFVs to replace traditional fuel consumption demonstrates a paradox in their application that can be explained through the treadmill of production theory
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McGee, J. 2017. The Treadmill of Alternatively Fueled Vehicle Production. Human Ecology Review, 23(1):81-99.