Abstract for:Transition to Alternative Fuel Vehicles: A Distributive Justice Perspective

In this paper, we investigate the ongoing endeavor to transition from conventional non-renewable transportation systems to more sustainable ones. A system dynamics (SD) model is built to capture some of the most important feedback loops at play in such a transition. The model focuses on light to mid duty vehicles in the private transportation sector. In addition to the traditional environmental objective, we propose and adopt a novel measure to quantify the concept of Distributive Justice as a new and necessary angle when investigating the transition to Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV). Distributive justice in our context is defined as fair access to transportation with the latter being a vital need for people to actualize their full capabilities in society. There are several layers of tradeoffs that arise when we add this extra dimension onto policy appraisal, yet the system as a whole benefits since we are able to catalyze the transition to AFV’s while improving the sustainability of such a transition. A policy that ensures such a harmonious behavior between the distributive justice and environmental goals is one that focuses on the GHG emissions with little to no emphasis on the AFV quotas, while providing support for consumers to switch to AFV's.