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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.

The C-Max MPG Fix: Getting it Right is Good for Consumers and Automakers Alike

The recent announcement from Ford that they will be changing the MPG rating of their Ford C-Max hybrid isn’t just a reminder of how much consumers care about fuel economy, but how important it is to get the ratings right. Accurate ratings can be a challenge as vehicles get more efficient since small variations in fuel consumption are amplified in the vehicles’ MPG ratings. The experience with the C-Max is moving the EPA to reexamine some aspects of their MPG labeling certification requirements to make sure they keep pace with advances in fuel economy.  This is good news for both automakers—who tout vehicle ratings as key selling points—and consumers, who depend on MPG ratings when comparing their vehicle choices. Read More

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Charting a Course to Transform California’s Freight System – Part 2

What are the truck and rail technologies that will transform California’s freight system in the 21st century to meet our climate, energy, and air quality goals? And what strategies can be employed to improve the efficiency of our freight system? Read More

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Charting a Course to Transform California’s Freight System

Last Friday, the first of three freight policy forums was held in Sacramento. The series is exploring some of the strategies to address the impacts of California’s freight and goods movement system on air quality, climate, and community health with researchers, policy makers, and other experts to inform better policy.  Read More

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Car Sharing Going Mainstream: Will Electric Cars Go Along for the Ride?

The recent Avis-Zipcar deal got me thinking about the future of car sharing and the possibilities for electric vehicles. The acquisition of Zipcar by Avis, along with car sharing endeavors by other traditional rental car companies like Enterprise and Hertz, indicates that car sharing is an idea that is here to stay and likely to grow. As car sharing becomes an increasingly popular travel choice for more Americans, is it also an opportunity to help accelerate the growth of the electric vehicle market in the U.S.? Read More

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Ship It Green: Electrification of Delivery Trucks

$1.5 billion in a single day. That’s the estimated value of internet purchases made on Cyber Monday this year, up 17 percent from last year and the current record. Most of those purchases, ranging from iPads to Furby’s, will have traveled thousands of miles by ship, train, or truck before making the final leg of their trip in a local delivery truck. Of course, internet shopping prompts the question: Is getting the package delivered to your house better or worse for the environment than picking it up at the store? Read More

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LA Auto Show: Showing the Way to Doubling Fuel Economy

New fuel economy and greenhouse gas rules were finalized by the Obama Administration this past year that go out to 2025, more than a decade away. The standards have enjoyed strong support from consumers and automakers alike. But as with most big steps forward, there are always some naysayers. To the naysayers, I say come to the LA Auto Show. The variety of technologies automakers are employing to make big gains in fuel economy are wide-ranging. And it is with this menu of technologies that automakers can meet the standards set for 2025 and beyond. Read More

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Electrifying Freight Transport: “It’s Not a Big Truck. It’s a Series of Tubes.”

That now infamous quote (right) by the late Senator Ted Stevens refers to the inner workings of the internet. But is it also a description of the future of freight transport? Read More

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Electric Vehicle Milestone: Tesla Model S Wins Car of the Year

It’s unanimous, at least amongst the judges at Motor Trend Magazine. The all-electric Tesla Model S has captured the coveted Motor Trend Car of Year Award, following a similar declaration from Automobile Magazine. Read More

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Off-shoring Opposition To Vehicle Fuel Economy: Toyota Stalls Mexican Standards

What’s the bestselling car in California? For the first 9 months of 2012, it was Toyota’s family of Prius hybrids. One might assume that a car company with such a successful vehicle efficiency technology — a technology they recently announced will be in as many as 21 models by 2015 — wouldn’t stand in the way of  making more efficient vehicles available to millions of car buyers in Mexico.  Well think again. Read More

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Electrifying Trucks: Moving Stuff with Less Oil

I’ve been spotting plug-in electric cars all over the Bay Area recently. Nissan Leafs and Chevy Volts are a nearly dime a dozen and the plug-in Prius sightings have been adding up recently. I just spotted a Tesla roadster last week quietly engaged in my neighborhood’s evening ritual of locating a parking spot, as well as a Fisker Karma stuck in downtown San Francisco traffic. But amongst all these electrified passenger car sightings, I’ve also noticed an increasing number of hybrid delivery trucks, including one I spotted while biking home the other day. Read More

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