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Don Anair

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About the author: Don Anair is a senior engineer with expertise on diesel, hybrid and battery electric vehicle, and goods movement technologies and the policies needed to turn them into real solutions for U.S. oil dependence, air pollution and global warming. He holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering. See Don's full bio.

USA Today Gets it Wrong – The Benefits of EVs Are Real

USA Today recently published a misleading opinion article on electric vehicles. The author, Bjorn Lomborg, claims that electric car benefits are “just myths” repeating many arguments he has made before and to which we at UCS have responded. Through a combination of cherry-picking data, bizarre assumptions and just plain false information, the author asserts that electric vehicles (EVs) produce more air pollution and similar global warming compared to efficient gasoline cars today and dismisses the potential to clean-up the nation’s electricity grid in the future.

Our own analysis shows the opposite. EVs do in fact provide climate benefits today, and electric vehicles powered by a cleaner electricity grid are a key strategy in cutting our nation’s oil consumption and reducing the threat of climate change. Read More

Categories: Fossil Fuels, Vehicles  

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Dear Chrysler: 5 Reasons Oil Prices Shouldn’t Affect Fuel Economy Standards

Lately, low gas prices have been making headlines across the country. Having dropped by more than $1.50/gallon over the last 6 months, there is certainly reason to be talking about them. So it was no surprise when the topic came up at the North American International Auto Show earlier this month in Detroit. The CEO of Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, used the opportunity to call for rolling back vehicle fuel economy standards. This is perhaps not surprising from a CEO who also tells people not to buy his company’s electric cars and who’s company has scored last in 6 out of 7 UCS Automaker Rankings. But his statements on fuel economy appear to be as volatile as oil prices. Just a couple of years ago he stood up with the President and supported the new standards. Read More

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What Happened at the LA Auto Show? Small SUVs, Hydrogen Cars, and 2015 Fuel Economy Gains

Before Thanksgiving, my colleague Lucy and I toured the LA Auto Show. While we confirmed many trends I identified in my previous post, three things stood out: fuel cell vehicles are gaining attention and momentum, small crossover SUVs are racing to market, and some redesigned 2015 models are offering up some significant fuel economy improvements compared to previous models. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Top 9 Technology Trends to Watch at the 2014 LA Auto Show

The annual LA Auto Show opens this week with announcements from numerous automakers planned for Wednesday and Thursday before the first public day on Friday. I’ll be headed down to the show to check-out what automakers have to offer and see how 2015 is shaping up in terms of fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles. Read More

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How do EVs Compare with Gas-Powered Vehicles? Better Every Year….

As we embark on the 4th annual National Drive Electric Week, U.S. electric vehicle (EV) sales are approaching a quarter million, and 20 plug-in models are now available in at least some parts of the country. This represents a major advancement from the first introduction of the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf plug-in electric vehicles in model year 2011. Read More

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Cleaner Trucks, Buses, and Freight Projects Poised for Big Boost in California

Moving freight in California produces a lot of pollution. It’s one of the largest sources of smog-forming and diesel particulate emissions and is a growing source of global warming pollution. Fortunately, the recently passed budget in California is good news for making some progress on cleaner freight technology in the coming year. Read More

Categories: Global Warming, Vehicles  

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California, Don’t Put the Brakes on Cleaner Diesel Trucks

California’s standards to reduce harmful diesel pollution from trucks and buses combined with a new generation of emission-control devices are delivering benefits to the state’s air quality and public health. Recent years have seen significant reductions in smog-forming emissions and particulate matter from these heavy duty vehicles — a leading source of diesel pollution in the state. To stay on track in meeting air quality standards and reducing adverse health impacts, California needs to maintain a strong diesel Truck and Bus Regulation. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Moving California Forward: Cleaning up Freight in the Golden State

Can California move more freight while cutting carbon emissions, improving air quality, cutting oil use, and protecting the health of communities near rail yards, warehouses, and ports? A new report released today by a diverse coalition of groups in California, including UCS, examines technologies and strategies to do just that. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Cyber Monday Meets Growing Truck Fuel Economy

Yes — it’s that time of year again. The online holiday shopping season is kicking off with another Cyber Monday. And if the trend continues, as it has for the past several years, another online shopping record will fall. I’m sure that’s welcome news to the likes of UPS and FedEx. But there’s another trend starting as well that should be good news for all you online shoppers out there (myself included). The trucks that move all those goods from factory, to warehouse, to your door are burning less fuel and creating less carbon emissions. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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A Boost for Electric Vehicles: Eight States Set New Goals for EV Deployment

The road to an electric vehicle future just got a lot wider.

Eight states, representing a quarter of the new vehicle market, announced a joint plan today to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on America’s roads by 2025. The announced Memorandum of Understanding will increase coordination across the states, as well as lead to the development of state-specific actions to support a successful and growing market for electric vehicles, a key solution for tackling climate change and cutting our nation’s projected oil use in half over the next 20 years. Read More

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