Vehicles

From fuel efficient trucks to electric and fuel-cell vehicles, our experts examine the role of transportation in tackling climate change and cutting U.S. oil use.


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Photo: Jimmy O'Dea

An Important Step to Clean Air and More Equitable Communities in Los Angeles

, vehicles analyst

Tomorrow, LA Metro, the second largest transit fleet in the United States, will decide what types of buses to purchase through 2030. The decision will impact Los Angeles’ efforts to clean the air, fight climate change, and expand economic opportunity. We applaud the proposal put forward by Metro staff last week to transition the entire fleet to zero-emission vehicles. Read more >

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Looking towards Boston from Spectacle Island.

Wind Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

, Kendall Science Fellow

Young by global standards, Boston is still one of the oldest cities in the United States. It has a fascinating and well-preserved history, with monuments, museums, and plaques everywhere you look. At the same time, it is a center of research and innovation, investigating the technologies that will shape our future. (Okay, I’m biased – I do love this city.) That dichotomy, respecting the past while looking towards the future, is also the story of wind power. Read more >

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How Many Rides Do Lyft and Uber Give Per Day? New Data Help Cities Plan for the Future

, vehicles analyst

In the span of about 7 years, app-based ride-hailing (i.e. Lyft and Uber) has gone from non-existent to ubiquitous in major metro areas. But how are these services affecting important aspects of our transportation system like congestion, public transit, and vehicle emissions? The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) made a big first step last week towards answering these questions. The agency released data showing when, where, and how many rides start and end within San Francisco. These statistics are important because passenger vehicles are the largest source of climate emissions in California, a major source of air pollution, and play a central role in our transportation system, which greatly affects social equity. Read more >

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New Numbers Are In and EVs Are Cleaner Than Ever

, senior engineer, Clean Vehicles

One of the most common questions I’m asked about electric cars is, “how clean are they?”

Five years ago, UCS answered this question, publishing its first look at the global warming emissions from electric vehicles (EVs) in our ‘State of Charge’ report.  In early 2017, the US EPA updated their data on emissions from electricity generation, now capturing power plant emissions through the end of 2014. How does this new data change our assessment of EVs?

Read more >

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Vehicle pollution is a major issue for human health and the environment.

Automakers Seek to Shirk Environmental Responsibilities, and Senators Oblige

, senior vehicles analyst

Today, automakers yearning to weaken environmental regulations found an ear on Capitol Hill—Senator Blunt (R-MO) introduced a bill with support of a few auto-state senators which would undermine the federal fuel economy regulations in three ways:  1) it extends the life for credits, some of which have already expired, creating so-called “zombie credits”; 2) it awards windfall credits for vehicles already sold by pulling forward a flexibility which regulators explicitly said they were not granting when setting the stringency of the program; and 3) it allows for manufacturers to focus all their efforts on just one segment of their fleet, undermining the promise to consumers that all types of vehicles—cars, trucks, and SUVs—would become more efficient over time. Read more >

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