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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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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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