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Rachael Nealer

About the author: Rachael Nealer is an engineer and Kendall Science Fellow exploring the lifecycle environmental impacts of advanced vehicles, specifically hybrid-electric, plug-in electric, and fuel cell vehicles. See Rachael's full bio.

Dear Tesla Gigafactory

Dear Tesla,

I’m excited about the recent announcement of your US-based battery manufacturing facility, which you’ve named the “gigafactory”, but I have a few concerns. The project sounds promising: you’ll be producing 500,000 electric vehicles per year by 2020, employing 6,500 people, installing new wind and solar power, and building the facility in either Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, or Arizona. But while you’re still deciding which site to pick can I offer you some advice? It’s all about location, location, location—and here’s why. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Electric Vehicle Emissions: 4 Lessons Learned from the Literature

Some people claim electric vehicles (EVs) emit more pollution than conventional vehicles, but based on what? Certainly not based on published literature. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Do EVs Matter? Four Takeaways from a Study on Electric Vehicle Emissions

A recent paper from North Carolina State University researchers posed the provocative question: “How much do electric drive vehicles matter to future U.S. emissions?” The article, published in Environmental Science & Technology, attempts to answer this question by examining the possible interactions between our national electricity and transportation system. As you can imagine, this is a complex question with an equally complicated set of answers. However, their finding that sales of electric vehicles (EVs) won’t necessarily lead to lower overall emissions has received the most attention. But does it mean electric vehicles don’t reduce emissions? No, it doesn’t: in fact one of the authors said they didn’t intend to show EVs have no impact on emissions in an interview with Slate. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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What is Lifecycle Assessment—and Why Does it Matter?

Hi, I’m Rachael and I recently joined the UCS team as a Kendall Science Fellow in the Clean Vehicles group. My focus during the fellowship will be on the lifecycle impacts of advanced vehicle technologies, so first I’m going to start with a brief background on what lifecycle assessment is and why it’s important. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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