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California Tops 100K Electric Vehicles Sold

The California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative has just announced that over 100,000 electric vehicles have been sold in the Golden State since the introduction of the first major electric vehicle (EV) models (Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt) in late 2010. In the last 12 months alone the state added about 50,000 EVs, and the sales of EVs continues to increase. The most current stats show that EVs now make up about 3% of new car sales in the state and when combined with gasoline-only hybrids, almost 1 in 10 new cars sold in California have some type of electric drive. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Cap and Trade: Alive and Well

After reading his obituary, Mark Twain famously remarked that “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” When a national climate bill failed in 2010, a lot of people said that so-called cap and trade programs to cut heat-trapping gases were dead. The claim was exaggerated then, and proven wrong now. Recent results in the northeast and California show that cap and trade is alive and well, and poised to expand in the next several years. Read More

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What Kind of Car Should I Buy? The Science Behind Purchasing a Vehicle

As someone who works to make our cars, trucks, and transportation systems cleaner, I get a lot of questions toward what sort of vehicle I think people should buy. My answer is always, it depends.

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Categories: Vehicles  

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Why Chrysler Has the “Dirtiest Tailpipe” and Why I Want to See Them Do Better

With all of the hype this week surrounding Dodge’s latest power-infused sedan — and just in time for that beloved celebration of automotive history, the Woodward Dream Cruise — I thought today I would spend a “throwback Thursday” discussing some of my own personal history with the automaker. Read More

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5 Things I Learned in Iowa about Biofuels

In July my colleagues and I, together with the Great Plains Institute, organized a Cellulosic Summit in Iowa. We brought together experts in clean transportation (many from California) with experts in sustainable agriculture (many from Iowa) to see for themselves the latest developments in cellulosic biofuel commercialization.  Read More

Categories: Biofuel, Vehicles  

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Car Dealers Not Plugged into the EV Revolution

How do we get information when we want to buy a new car? Often, it’s online with car review websites and automaker’s sites & advertising, and hopefully UCS’s clean vehicle information. But when it comes time to see and test drive cars, you can’t replace going to the new car lot. Unfortunately, recent reports say that many new car dealerships lack the knowledge or desire to effectively sell electric vehicles (EVs). Read More

Categories: Global Warming, Vehicles  

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Fed up with filling up? I am!

Just the other day I was driving back to the city from the suburbs after visiting family, and was in a rush. Of course, when I’m running late to meet friends is when the gas light on my little Honda Civic Coupe turns on! Frustrated that I needed to stop for gas when I was already pressed for time, I started thinking… How much time have I spent filling up at gas stations? And why is this rarely quantified and noted as a benefit to owning an electric vehicle (EV) where you can plug in at home and often times at work? Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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How Much Money Can You Save By Switching to an Electric Car?

University of California at Davis’ Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center has just released a great tool for finding out how much you could save by switching from a gasoline vehicle to an electric vehicle. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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The Opportunity for Agricultural Residues and Manure to Fuel a Sustainable Future

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

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On Cars, Trucks, and Beauty in the Backcountry: 4 Lessons from a Summer Roadtrip

For my big summer vacation this year, I spent over a week traveling the mountain west, crossing four states (South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho), traversing eight national monuments and parks, and racking up over 2300 miles. Because even when I’m on vacation I can’t stop thinking about transportation, I thought I’d share a few observations from the trip: Read More

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