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National Research Council on Electric Vehicles: Clean and Getting Cleaner

The National Research Council (NRC) released a report yesterday on electric vehicles and the barriers to adoption. The report, “Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles,” addresses some of the key obstacles to plug-in electric vehicle adoption. Importantly, the report also validates UCS’s own analysis: electric vehicles are clean today and will get cleaner as we continue to switch to better sources of electricity, like wind and solar power. Read More

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The Latest on EVs: Battery Costs Down and Extended Ranges on the Rise

I’ve been thinking a lot about batteries. That’s not a sentence you hear everyday, but as I’m doing my research at UCS it has become a big priority of mine. Mostly because the lithium-ion battery is the largest difference between electric vehicles (EVs) and gas cars in terms of costs and environmental impacts. Recently, however, we’ve had some exciting news…

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Categories: Vehicles  

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Sending FedEx a Message

In our latest report, Engines for Change, we noted that FedEx could save nearly $600 million annually in fuel costs if its truck fleet met fuel economy standards in line with our 2025 target. Our supporters came out in droves to carry that message to FedEx—this blog tracks the progress of those letters of support to FedEx urging them to support strong fuel economy standards. Read More

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Dear Humans: Industry is Causing Global Warming, Not Your Activities

Scientists and climate policy wonks usually say global warming is caused by “human activities.” This shorthand obscures an important point: while we humans are certainly responsible for climate change on some level, just a few of us – particularly in industry and government – are a lot more responsible than the rest of us.

After all, I like humans. I like activities, too. And it’s industry practices and government policies that largely determine how much heat-trapping emissions our human activities produce. Read More

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Electric Vehicles: The Right Choice for Oregon

Oregon is considering bolstering electric vehicle (EV) adoption with purchase incentives for consumers who want to buy or lease EVs. That would be a great idea as EVs can help Oregonians reduce both global warming emissions and fuel costs. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Why A Snapshot Of An Automaker’s Fleet Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story

Last Thursday, I noted that the EPA released the latest annual report laying out how well each manufacturer is doing when it comes to meeting the increasingly stringent standards for passenger cars and trucks—the simple answer is that the industry is doing very well. But just looking at a single year doesn’t tell the whole story. Read More

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Georgia May Shift to Reverse on EV Progress

Georgia’s leadership on electric vehicle (EV) adoption is in jeopardy. The two transportation bills that are before a 6-member conference committee in the Georgia legislature would cut the $5,000 state tax credit for EVs in Georgia starting July 1 and create a $200 yearly user fee for EV drivers in the state. This one-two punch to EVs is bad news for a state that, in 2014, saved $10 million on fuel costs and avoided the burning of 4.5 million gallons of gasoline thanks to EVs. Read More

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A Lightweight Investment With Big Dividends: DOE, Alcoa, and Aluminum Vehicles

Good news has emerged from the halls of the Department of Energy (DOE). Yesterday, DOE announced that Alcoa Incorporated, a “global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering, and manufacturing,” has been awarded a $259 million loan guarantee under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program. This capital will enable Alcoa to add 200 jobs at a Tennessee facility that manufactures the type of high-grade aluminum automakers are using to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and help drivers save money, cut emissions, and reduce oil use. Read More

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The Latest From The EPA: Car Manufacturers Are Exceeding Expectations

Today, the EPA put out its latest “scorecard” for the automakers, answering the question of how well each manufacturer is performing compared to the greenhouse gas emissions standards for light-duty vehicles. The indication is again a cautious optimism, showing that manufacturers continue to exceed the standards, reducing emissions at a rate faster than projected. This is good news for the climate, for consumers at the pump, and for staying on the path to a Half the Oil future. Read More

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Major Surgery or Physical Therapy? Why Stability, Balance and Flexibility are the Right Prescription to Put the Renewable Fuel Standard Back on Track

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is in rough shape after a couple years of controversy and uncertainty, and some critics are calling for the removal of major elements of the policy.  But the RFS is needed to maintain steady progress on clean fuels, and such invasive surgery is the wrong prescription to fix what ails it. Instead something like physical therapy is required. Read More

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