Reducing vehicle travel distances may eventually be a promising option for reducing oil dependence. However, the factors affecting travel distances have not yet been investi-gated, which makes the development of effective transportation-related policy difficult. Therefore, we explore factors influencing travel distances in Japan, namely, income group, region, interest in purchasing a hybrid car, travel purposes, vehicle type, and demographics, using data collected through surveys. Subsequently, we examine whether the factors increasing travel distances also increase fuel usage in the transportation sec-tor. Several findings emerge: First, hybrid ownership is positively correlated to travel distances regardless of income level and interest in purchasing a hybrid car (hybrid interest). Second, income level has a positive relationship with travel distances. How-ever, individuals in the high-income group show negative coefficients towards travel distances. The results also show that factors increasing travel distance also positively affect fuel usage except for hybrid ownership. For example, hybrid ownership is posi-tively correlated with both travel distances and fuel consumption, which is a form of the “green paradox.” Thus, the contribution of this study is that it provides evidence for the existence of direct rebound effects and wealth inequality in travel behavior and indicates the need for implementing policies based on individuals’ socio-demographical identity and type of vehicle ownership.
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