Rachael Nealer

Former engineer and Kendall Science Fellow

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Rachael Nealer is an engineer and former Kendall Science Fellow exploring the lifecycle environmental impacts of advanced vehicles, specifically hybrid-electric, plug-in electric, and fuel cell vehicles.

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The Washington Post Gets it Wrong on Electric Cars

It’s unfortunately not uncommon to see skewed and misleading articles about electric vehicles in the popular press.  The most recent example, a Washington Post article “Electric cars and the coal that runs them” by Michael Birnbaum, is a textbook example of how to dismiss EVs by cherry-picking statistics and ignoring current science. Even worse, the article has been reprinted in other papers with the headline “Boom in electric cars boosts demand for coal powerwith no support for the false claim that electric cars are causing an increase in demand for coal power. Read more >

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So Electric Cars Are Better—Now What?

In our recent report on electric vehicles, we found that battery electric cars produce about 50 percent fewer global warming emissions over their lifetime than similarly-sized gasoline cars. We showed that even with the greater global warming emissions from manufacturing (largely because of lithium-ion battery manufacturing), a battery-electric vehicle still results in significantly lower global warming emissions over its lifetime than its gasoline counterpart. Other studies on this topic have come to similar conclusions.

So what’s next? How do we produce even cleaner EVs and encourage their deployment across the country? Read more >

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Gasoline vs Electric—Who Wins on Lifetime Global Warming Emissions? We Found Out

I’m excited to introduce our newest analysis on electric cars, titled: Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave: How Electric Cars Beat Gasoline Cars in Lifetime Global Warming Emissions. After years of mixed messages on whether electric vehicles (EVs) really are better for the environment, we’re pleased to provide one of the most comprehensive answers to date (sneak peek: yes, they’re cleaner by 50 percent). Here’s what we’ve found…

Read more >

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Electric Vehicles Are Getting Marginally Better, In A Big Way

Where does electricity come from? When you flip a light switch on, you’re getting electricity from somewhere—maybe a spinning gas turbine, or maybe a battery storing excess electricity generated by wind or solar power. When you flip the light switch off, the grid responds by shifting its sources around, ensuring everyone connected is receiving a steady flow of electrons. Read more >

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Automakers Piloting the Reuse Market for EV Batteries

What happens when the batteries from electric vehicles (EVs) are no longer usable? We could throw them away, sure, but there are other options, including reuse and recycling. Several automakers are piloting efforts in these areas, with promising results. Read more >

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