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How Clean Are Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles?

Long planned and anticipated, the first production-version hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) are rolling out and more are on their way. Mass-market models from Honda, Hyundai and Toyota are in the works. They are an important solution — along with plug-in electric vehicles — for reducing our carbon emissions and achieving our goals of putting more zero-emission vehicles on the road. As I have written before, FCEVs have advantages of greater driving range and faster refueling. Questions arise, however, about just how clean these vehicles are if the early models rely on hydrogen produced from natural gas — a fossil fuel. Read More

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A Fuel Cell Vehicle Test Drive: The 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

On a sunny fall day last week, my Clean Vehicles colleagues and I had the opportunity to test drive the 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell – an electric vehicle that runs on electricity produced from hydrogen. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) may not be as well-known as battery electric vehicles (BEVs) like the Nissan LEAF, or plug-in electric hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) like the Chevy Volt, but they are a promising solution to our oil use, and are beginning to hit the road in California. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Trending Towards Efficiency: EPA Shows New Vehicles are Saving Money and Lowering Emissions

Today, the EPA released the latest version of its annual report, Fuel Economy Trends. As a tech geek and data aficionado, I love this report because it gives a ton of information about what sort of technologies manufacturers are putting into cars and trucks and just how much we are improving fuel efficiency across the board. Below is a summary of some of the key points… Read More

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Clean Tech Comes In All Shapes and Sizes, Including Really Big Trucks

As we look at implementing new standards for heavy duty vehicles, it’s important to understand what technologies are out there on the horizon. To get a glimpse at who’s doing what and why, last week I attended the High-efficiency Truck Users’ Forum (HTUF) 2014 conference at Argonne National Lab. Suppliers, manufacturers, researchers, and fleet operators all got together to discuss the current technologies, those available in the foreseeable future, and the challenges and motivations for their adoption. Read More

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Big Oil, Climate Change, and California’s AB32

As we approach mid-term elections this fall, most folks following politics are interested in how the balance of power may or may not shift in Congress, what new Governors or new legislators may be elected, and what it all may mean for the future of the nation. Many UCS members are particularly concerned about what electoral changes there may be that will influence the future of state and national climate policy. Here in California, we are in the midst of another type of campaign that could have a huge impact in the future of climate policy for the state and region, as well as the whole country: a massive public relations campaign by oil companies to roll back the gains California has made on our groundbreaking climate law, AB32.   Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming, Vehicles  

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What Would a Bike-only World Look Like?

Ever wonder what it would be like if only bicycles were on the roads? I spent a week in July biking across Iowa for an event called RAGBRAI where thousands of cyclists ride just over 400 miles across the state. While biking I began thinking about how our world would be different if bikes, not cars, were the norm. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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California Charging Ahead With Support For Electric Vehicles

In August, the California legislature passed SB1275, known as the Charge Ahead California Initiative, designed to bring 1 million electric cars to California by 2023. Authored by State Senator Kevin de León, the new law extends important current incentive programs and expands access to clean transportation for lower income Californians. If signed by Governor Brown, Californians will enjoy cleaner air and cleaner cars over the next decade. Read More

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How Clean are Electric Cars? A Life Cycle Assessment of Advanced Vehicle Technologies

As electric vehicles (EVs) gain popularity in the United States and policies to encourage EV sales are implemented, significant research has been done on reductions in global warming emissions and oil use associated with operating them. This includes research published in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ report State of Charge. However, the broader impacts of EV production and recycling remain less well characterized, and are important when assessing the total environmental impact of consumer vehicle choices. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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New 2015 Electric Vehicle Models on the Horizon

It’s National Drive Electric Week, and events are being held across the country that will showcase the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) and highlight the many benefits of driving on electricity. Check out where events are near you, and head on over to test drive an electric vehicle, talk with EV owners, and learn more about this exciting technology that can help cut our nation’s projected oil use in half in twenty years. Looking to help out with an event? There are plenty of volunteer opportunities too. Read More

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How do EVs Compare with Gas-Powered Vehicles? Better Every Year….

As we embark on the 4th annual National Drive Electric Week, U.S. electric vehicle (EV) sales are approaching a quarter million, and 20 plug-in models are now available in at least some parts of the country. This represents a major advancement from the first introduction of the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf plug-in electric vehicles in model year 2011. Read More

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