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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.

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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What We Should Learn from a Lifecycle Assessment of EVs in the EU

A new study examining the life-cycle impacts of electric vehicles looks at global warming emissions and other environmental impacts from the production and use of vehicles in the European Union. Here’s one media story about the report with a rather damning headline  – Study: ‘Global Warming Potential’ From Electric Cars Twice That Of Conventional. Kind of reminds me of some of the coverage of our State of Charge report (See a Columbia Journalism Review blog on that). It’s stories like this that might lead some casual readers to conclude that electric vehicles are a disaster. Read More

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California Strives to Remain Ahead in Zero Emission Vehicles

California leads the nation in plug-in car sales, but the state isn’t resting on its laurels to maintain dominance in the emerging market for zero tailpipe emission vehicles. Read More

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Are Some Californians Paying Too Much to Charge their Plug-in Vehicles?

A recent survey of electric vehicle (EV) owners shows that a significant number of Californians may be leaving hundreds of dollars a year in fuel-cost savings on the table. The survey by the California Center for Sustainable Energy suggests that more than a third of EV owners in some utility territories may not be on the utility rate plan that would save them the most money. Read More

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California Charts a Course for Clean Air: Can We Get There from Here?

Imagine that 8 out of 10 cars on California roads release no tailpipe emissions, that the telltale exhaust plumes of soot from ships sailing into our ports are no longer visible, and that freight trains run on electricity. These are a few examples of what California air quality regulators, including the Air Resources Board and the air districts of the San Joaquin Valley and South Coast regions, envision in the recently released Vision for Clean Air. Read More

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