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Green Guilt, Really? A Response to Slate’s Daniel Gross and the Concept of Green Privilege

Slate contributor Daniel Gross suffers from a bad case of green guilt. Not to be confused with Catholic or Jewish guilt, green guilt arises from green privilege, which Gross defines as having access to public benefits that “flow almost exclusively to individuals who are already well off and don’t need the help.”

The most glaring example of green privilege, Gross argues, is the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles (EVs). Not only are federal and state tax credits for EVs helping yuppies save money on fuel and reduce their emissions, but Gross’s town of Westport, Connecticut is allowing EV drivers to get preferential parking at train stations too. Oh the horror! Someone get this guy a gas guzzler and a crappy parking spot, stat! Read More

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Making Clean Cars Easier to Buy in California

Electric cars reduce both oil use and global warming emissions and are cheaper to operate than gasoline-powered vehicles. However, electric cars can cost more to buy than a conventional vehicle, and this initial outlay can prevent cars buyers from choosing a vehicle that is both a greener choice and will save money in the long run.

Now California is poised to make buying electric vehicles an option for more people through new investments and incentive programs. Read More

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The New Electric Car from KIA: Review of a 2015 Kia Soul EV Test Drive

If you’re looking for a new car, you’ve got to test drive an electric vehicle (EV). Just do it. Sure, you can read about how EVs provide instant torque, are cleaner and cheaper to drive than gas vehicles, and can fit the needs of 42 percent of American drivers, but the best way to understand the allure of an EV is to go drive one.

I recently took the 2015 Kia Soul EV home for lunch, and was amazed at how much I enjoyed driving on electricity. I’ve previously driven several EVs, but never alone, and never for an extended period of time. Having the Soul EV for a couple hours allowed me to better understand what, exactly, it would be like to own an EV – and I loved every minute of it. Read More

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8 Ways Science Can Save Gas On Your Summer Road Trip

With the end of the school year upon us, no doubt many of you are embarking on one of my favorite activities: the road trip. Even with gas prices under $3 per gallon, the prospect of shelling out well over $100 in fuel will have anyone trying to use a few gallons less. Here at UCS, we are always thinking about ways to save fuel. Having driven cross-country a number of times—and worked as a physicist and vehicles analyst—here are a few tips I use to save fuel: Read More

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Big Rigs, Big Benefits; How Strong Rules Will Clean Up the Road

Tractor trailers go about six miles on a gallon of diesel, a number that has barely budged since the 1970’s. This shocked me the first time I heard it, and I imagine that many of you have the same reaction. After all, so many other products—passenger cars, light bulbs, refrigerators—are so much more efficient now, why not trucks? The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Read More

Categories: Global Warming, Vehicles  

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New National Academies Study Says EPA and NHTSA Got it Right

A new report from the National Academies’ National Research Council (NRC) was released this morning. The overarching message of the report reiterates what we have said repeatedly:  Automakers are well on their way to meeting 2025 standards, and they will do so primarily with efficient conventional vehicles. Read More

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Remembering Jay Fay

In my first year at UCS, I learned that several extraordinary individuals have left unmistakable and enduring marks on this organization. James “Jay” Fay, a long-time member of the UCS Board of Directors, was one of them. He died last week at age 91. Read More

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Comparing Electric Vehicles: Review of a 2015 BMW i3 Test Drive

I recently test drove the BMW i3, a quirky addition to the expanding variety of electric vehicles (EVs) hitting showrooms across the U.S. and was impressed at the i3’s ability to handle city driving.  But is the i3 the “ultimate driving experience?” Read on to find out. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Electric Soul: What Goes Into a New EV?

Kia released its first electric vehicle late last year in California, a new take on its iconic Soul compact. This year, the Kia Soul EV is expanding its reach to Georgia, Hawaii, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. With any luck, maybe Kia will follow GM’s lead and enter the Maryland market. But with announcements for the next generation of the plug-in hybrid Volt and a 200-mile battery-electric Bolt from its competitors on the horizon, not to mention today’s low gas prices, is there a reason why Kia is so bullish now? Read More

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Batteries, Hydrogen, and Hybrids: Where We Are Now, and Where We’re Going

Today I’m attending the 2015 Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) summit in Sacramento, California, where automakers, policymakers, and technical leaders are sharing information and plans for continuing the impressive progress in getting clean ZEVs on the road. This is the third California ZEV summit and it’s amazing to see the progress that has been made in getting cleaner vehicles on the road. Read More

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