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Dave Cooke

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About the author: Dave Cooke is a vehicles analyst in the Clean Vehicles Program, specializing in both light- and heavy-duty fuel economy. He conducts research on fuel efficiency technologies and the implications for oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions across the transportation sector. See Dave's full bio.

8 Ways Science Can Save Gas On Your Summer Road Trip

With the end of the school year upon us, no doubt many of you are embarking on one of my favorite activities: the road trip. Even with gas prices under $3 per gallon, the prospect of shelling out well over $100 in fuel will have anyone trying to use a few gallons less. Here at UCS, we are always thinking about ways to save fuel. Having driven cross-country a number of times—and worked as a physicist and vehicles analyst—here are a few tips I use to save fuel: Read More

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New National Academies Study Says EPA and NHTSA Got it Right

A new report from the National Academies’ National Research Council (NRC) was released this morning. The overarching message of the report reiterates what we have said repeatedly:  Automakers are well on their way to meeting 2025 standards, and they will do so primarily with efficient conventional vehicles. Read More

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Electric Soul: What Goes Into a New EV?

Kia released its first electric vehicle late last year in California, a new take on its iconic Soul compact. This year, the Kia Soul EV is expanding its reach to Georgia, Hawaii, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. With any luck, maybe Kia will follow GM’s lead and enter the Maryland market. But with announcements for the next generation of the plug-in hybrid Volt and a 200-mile battery-electric Bolt from its competitors on the horizon, not to mention today’s low gas prices, is there a reason why Kia is so bullish now? Read More

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Sending FedEx a Message

In our latest report, Engines for Change, we noted that FedEx could save nearly $600 million annually in fuel costs if its truck fleet met fuel economy standards in line with our 2025 target. Our supporters came out in droves to carry that message to FedEx—this blog tracks the progress of those letters of support to FedEx urging them to support strong fuel economy standards. Read More

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Why A Snapshot Of An Automaker’s Fleet Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story

Last Thursday, I noted that the EPA released the latest annual report laying out how well each manufacturer is doing when it comes to meeting the increasingly stringent standards for passenger cars and trucks—the simple answer is that the industry is doing very well. But just looking at a single year doesn’t tell the whole story. Read More

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The Latest From The EPA: Car Manufacturers Are Exceeding Expectations

Today, the EPA put out its latest “scorecard” for the automakers, answering the question of how well each manufacturer is performing compared to the greenhouse gas emissions standards for light-duty vehicles. The indication is again a cautious optimism, showing that manufacturers continue to exceed the standards, reducing emissions at a rate faster than projected. This is good news for the climate, for consumers at the pump, and for staying on the path to a Half the Oil future. Read More

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Shipping Your Stuff Burns 70 Gallons of Fuel Every Year

With the ability to get just about anything you want delivered the next day thanks to services like Amazon Prime and companies like FedEx and UPS, we rarely question how these systems work—and at what cost. Today we are releasing a report called Engines for Change that examines exactly this question. How much oil do trucks and freight really use? What can we do to use less fuel while providing the expected level of service that is so closely woven into our daily lives? Read More

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Hyundai-Kia, the EPA, and 100 Million Reasons to Take Fuel Economy Seriously

On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Hyundai and Kia would be fined $100 million for violation of the Clean Air Act. This fine stems from the two companies submitting inflated fuel economy test results to the agency for over 1 million vehicles, resulting in an under-reporting of their respective global warming emissions.

The facts of this case were known prior to when we crowned Hyundai-Kia the “Greenest Automaker” in May, so this announcement does not change our automaker rankings. However, it does have important implications for the industry as a whole. Read More

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Trending Towards Efficiency: EPA Shows New Vehicles are Saving Money and Lowering Emissions

Today, the EPA released the latest version of its annual report, Fuel Economy Trends. As a tech geek and data aficionado, I love this report because it gives a ton of information about what sort of technologies manufacturers are putting into cars and trucks and just how much we are improving fuel efficiency across the board. Below is a summary of some of the key points… Read More

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Clean Tech Comes In All Shapes and Sizes, Including Really Big Trucks

As we look at implementing new standards for heavy duty vehicles, it’s important to understand what technologies are out there on the horizon. To get a glimpse at who’s doing what and why, last week I attended the High-efficiency Truck Users’ Forum (HTUF) 2014 conference at Argonne National Lab. Suppliers, manufacturers, researchers, and fleet operators all got together to discuss the current technologies, those available in the foreseeable future, and the challenges and motivations for their adoption. Read More

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