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Dave Cooke

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.

On Cars, Trucks, and Beauty in the Backcountry: 4 Lessons from a Summer Roadtrip

For my big summer vacation this year, I spent over a week traveling the mountain west, crossing four states (South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho), traversing eight national monuments and parks, and racking up over 2300 miles. Because even when I’m on vacation I can’t stop thinking about transportation, I thought I’d share a few observations from the trip: Read More

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Good Jobs, Green Jobs: Moving Freight More Efficiently

A couple weeks ago, I noted that we can reduce fuel consumption from the average new commercial truck by 40 percent in 2025. Improving the efficiency of these vehicles is a key component of our overall Half the Oil plan. But one of the reasons why reducing fuel from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is so important is because they are strongly integrated into American commerce—everything you buy ends up on a truck at some point along the way. Read More

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“Your Mileage May Vary”…and for Some of Ford’s Most Efficient Vehicles, It Does

EPA just announced that six of Ford’s 2013-2014 models will need new fuel economy labels.  This represents the third adjustment in as many years to the best source of information for consumers on fuel economy and emissions from light-duty vehicles, so it seems like a great time to talk about just how important it is that manufacturers and the EPA get these labels right. Read More

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#ActOnTrucks: Putting Heavy-duty Vehicles on an Oil Diet

Last month, we announced that new fuel economy and global warming emissions standards could reduce fuel consumption from heavy-duty trucks by 40%. Today, we are releasing a fact sheet that highlights some of the ways we can reach that target if we take action on trucks. You can follow the conversation on Twitter to see how we plan to #ActOnTrucks. Read More

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Automaker Rankings 2014: All are Making Progress, but Hyundai-Kia is the Greenest Automaker

Today, UCS releases our latest Automaker Rankings report, which analyzes new passenger cars and trucks from the 2013 model year. For the first time, our analysis shows that all 8 top-selling automakers have now reduced the global warming emissions from their average vehicle sold when compared to our first report, which looked at 1998 vehicles. In addition, tailpipe emissions of smog-forming pollutants from the average vehicle have decreased by 87% since 2000. This shows that the standards we at UCS have advocated so strongly for are working. Read More

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#ActOnTrucks: Cutting Truck Fuel Consumption 40% by 2025

As part of his climate action plan, the President called for strengthening fuel economy and global warming emissions standards for the biggest trucks on the road. A worthy goal — but what does it mean in terms of real reductions in global warming emissions and oil consumption? And how do we get there? Read More

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EPA Emission Standards: The First Inning is Over, and Automakers are Ahead…For Now

The EPA’s landmark greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger vehicles went into effect in 2012, and the first scores are in: manufacturers are meeting and exceeding the standard. This means that manufacturers are producing vehicles with lower emissions, enabling new car buyers to reduce their oil consumption and global warming emissions and keep a little more gas money in their wallets. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Diesel vs Hybrids: The Costs and Benefits of Both (And a Shiny Calculator!)

If you’re thinking about buying a vehicle, chances are you’ve noticed a number of automakers touting the benefits of new “clean diesel” vehicles with fuel efficiencies of 40 to 45 mpg on the highway. That sounds awfully high – but what does it mean, and how does it compare to the most efficient gasoline-powered vehicles on the road, hybrids? Read More

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Driving a Tesla Model S: A Glimpse into the (Electric) Future

This past weekend I had the opportunity to test drive a Tesla Model S, and it’s an amazing car to drive. Its luxury and high performance has won it accolades like Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year—but the inherent benefits of being an electric car are what really set it apart.

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Is that Truck Wearing a… Skirt?

As you find yourself traveling on the road these holidays, you may notice something different about tractor-trailers—some of them are wearing skirts. Because of the roughly 100,000 miles traveled annually by the average long haul tractor-trailer (ie semi-truck, or big rig), putting on one of these long skirts (pictured below) is like eliminating the global warming pollution from an average car. Here’s how, and why we need more of them. Read More

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