Not all ethanol is created equal. The benefits, or consequences, of this ubiquitous ‘home-grown’ fuel that is blended in nearly every gallon of gasoline sold across the country vary depending on how it is produced and what it is produced from. As my colleague and uber biofuels-wonk Dr. Jeremy Martin has explained, ethanol produced from food, like corn or soybean, does little to reduce the carbon intensity of our transportation fuel and, in some cases, can actually be responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis compared to gasoline. Read More
July 21st, 2014
July 1st, 2014
Lights, Camera, Action! Eight States Release Plan to Put 3.3 Million Electric Vehicles on the Road by 2025.
May 29th, 2014
I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past over the long weekend, and man, it did not disappoint. The movie began with a depiction of a bleak, dark future destined to be humanity’s fate unless – of course – Professor X, Wolverine, Beast, and the rest of the X-Men (and women) step in to save us. Though X-Men is rooted in fantasy, a bleaker future may be part of our reality if we do nothing to limit the impacts of climate change. And, while there are no mutants to save us (yet), we do have several types of electric vehicles (EVs) that can operate nearly emission-free when powered by clean electricity or hydrogen. Read More
May 19th, 2014
One of the main options for getting around Manila, Philippines is hopping in the back of a jeepney – a small bus-like Jeep that has become a national symbol of transportation. These vehicles are about to undergo a major shift in how they are fueled thanks to the COMET (City Optimized Managed Electric Transport), a fully electric-powered city shuttle similar to the jeepney. As President Obama recently experienced first-hand, replacing jeepneys with COMETs is a fantastic way to reduce the fuel and emissions associated with this transit option and one innovative way that the Philippines is reducing their oil use. Read More
April 25th, 2014
The good folks over at Consumer Reports recently released a months-long survey that examined how much car salespeople knew about electric vehicles (EVs). It turns out that some dealerships were not entirely helpful when it came to discussing EVs and in some instances actually steered customers away from EVs and toward gas-powered conventional vehicles. Read More
April 2nd, 2014
Department of Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz announced today that the DOE is making key improvements to the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program. This is good news for a program that has made some important contributions to developing fuel saving vehicle technology but needs to continue funding qualified applicants to help advance the efficiency of our cars and trucks even further. Read More
April 2nd, 2014
You may have heard a lot recently about electric vehicles (EVs). Sales of EVs are up, manufacturers are beginning to offer a variety of EV models – from sportscars to sedans – and our recent analysis found that 42 percent of American households with a vehicle could use an EV.
So, why are car buyers getting more enthused about EVs? Since I’m not an EV owner myself (I continue to rely on my 25 year old Panasonic “collectors” bicycle – and by “collectors” I mean rusting hunk of Japanese steel), I asked UCS members who drive EVs what they like about driving on electricity. Read on to hear their stories and find out the top 7 reasons to consider an EV. Read More
February 28th, 2014
Earlier this week a public call to reduce our oil use got some good national attention in this New York Times op-ed penned by Admiral Dennis C. Blair, a former director of National Intelligence and former commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, and General Michael W. Hagee, the 33rd commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
These two gentlemen make the case that reducing our oil use is critical to safeguarding our country (and our wallets) against oil supply and price shocks. They make the astute point that no matter where our oil comes from, we are still vulnerable to the whims of the global oil market because our transportation system remains almost completely dependent on oil as an energy source. Read More
February 25th, 2014
For the past several weeks the eyes of the world were glued on Sochi, watching the XXII Olympic Winter Games. But that’s not the only global contest I’m interested in. The U.S. and countries around the world are also racing to reduce their oil use and global warming emissions from transportation. Developing a cleaner transportation economy may not seem as exciting as a ski-cross photo finish, but it has major implications for our future. Read More
February 12th, 2014
Choosing a vehicle is tough. Sunroof or moonroof? Front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, or all-wheel drive? Do I even need a CD player? And what about color? Burnt orange is nice, but so is cashmere metallic and squid ink (hint: always get squid ink). Considering a hybrid or electric vehicle adds another factor into an already difficult decision. Should you go with a standard hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric, or fuel cell? What is the difference between these types of vehicles anyway? Read More