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Good Jobs, Green Jobs: Moving Freight More Efficiently

A couple weeks ago, I noted that we can reduce fuel consumption from the average new commercial truck by 40 percent in 2025. Improving the efficiency of these vehicles is a key component of our overall Half the Oil plan. But one of the reasons why reducing fuel from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is so important is because they are strongly integrated into American commerce—everything you buy ends up on a truck at some point along the way. Read More

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It’s Electric! The Science of Cleaner Vehicles

Guest Bogger

James Nolan, Associate Professor
Department of Biology, Georgia Gwinnett College

Lawrenceville, GA

I’m a biochemist by training, but my family’s leap into Electric Vehicle (EV) driving was not entirely a reasoned scientific choice, initially. We have always been energy-conscious, even before climate change was on our radar. We have always tried to live near our workplaces to save fuel and time. When hybrid vehicles came on the market, we did not seriously consider buying one, because it did not make economic sense for us; our savings on fuel would never match the difference in up-front price of a hybrid at that time.  The BP oil spill on April 20, 2010 changed the equation for us. Read More

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“Your Mileage May Vary”…and for Some of Ford’s Most Efficient Vehicles, It Does

EPA just announced that six of Ford’s 2013-2014 models will need new fuel economy labels.  This represents the third adjustment in as many years to the best source of information for consumers on fuel economy and emissions from light-duty vehicles, so it seems like a great time to talk about just how important it is that manufacturers and the EPA get these labels right. Read More

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#ActOnTrucks: Putting Heavy-duty Vehicles on an Oil Diet

Last month, we announced that new fuel economy and global warming emissions standards could reduce fuel consumption from heavy-duty trucks by 40%. Today, we are releasing a fact sheet that highlights some of the ways we can reach that target if we take action on trucks. You can follow the conversation on Twitter to see how we plan to #ActOnTrucks. Read More

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Lights, Camera, Action! Eight States Release Plan to Put 3.3 Million Electric Vehicles on the Road by 2025.

I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past over the long weekend, and man, it did not disappoint. The movie began with a depiction of a bleak, dark future destined to be humanity’s fate unless – of course – Professor X, Wolverine, Beast, and the rest of the X-Men (and women) step in to save us. Though X-Men is rooted in fantasy, a bleaker future may be part of our reality if we do nothing to limit the impacts of climate change. And, while there are no mutants to save us (yet), we do have several types of electric vehicles (EVs) that can operate nearly emission-free when powered by clean electricity or hydrogen. Read More

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Too Good to be True? New WSPA Report on Oil Industry Highlights the Good, Omits the Bad

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) recently released a report that tries to sell the oil and gas industry in California as a big — ­really, really big ­— benefit to the state. The report, sponsored by WSPA and written by economists at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), tallies up jobs associated with the oil and gas industry, the industry’s share of state GDP, and the taxes paid by oil and gas consumers and producers, with the clear implication that the larger the numbers, the better. A closer look tells a different story. Read More

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Automaker Rankings 2014: All are Making Progress, but Hyundai-Kia is the Greenest Automaker

Today, UCS releases our latest Automaker Rankings report, which analyzes new passenger cars and trucks from the 2013 model year. For the first time, our analysis shows that all 8 top-selling automakers have now reduced the global warming emissions from their average vehicle sold when compared to our first report, which looked at 1998 vehicles. In addition, tailpipe emissions of smog-forming pollutants from the average vehicle have decreased by 87% since 2000. This shows that the standards we at UCS have advocated so strongly for are working. Read More

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Don’t Just Google It: UCS Answers Your Questions about EVs

On May 19th Grist reporter Ben Adler held a Google hangout with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Gina McCarthy, and Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz. The discussion with the twitter hashtag #WHClimateChat focused on questions from the audience about the President’s Climate Action Plan. Many of the questions answered by McCarthy and Moniz were about fuel economy and vehicle technologies—topics that the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) works on regularly. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Electrifying the Jeepney: How Manila Is Modernizing a Transportation Icon

One of the main options for getting around Manila, Philippines is hopping in the back of a jeepney – a small bus-like Jeep that has become a national symbol of transportation. These vehicles are about to undergo a major shift in how they are fueled thanks to the COMET (City Optimized Managed Electric Transport), a fully electric-powered city shuttle similar to the jeepney. As President Obama recently experienced first-hand, replacing jeepneys with COMETs is a fantastic way to reduce the fuel and emissions associated with this transit option and one innovative way that the Philippines is reducing their oil use. Read More

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Workplace Charging: Good for Business and a Chance for Business to do Good

Electric vehicles (EVs) are quickly becoming more visible on the nation’s roads, with almost 200,000 sold over the last few years. There are many reasons to switch to an electric vehicle, but many drivers have gone electric to save both time and money getting to and from work. Switching to electricity means fewer (or no) trips to the gas station and often access to HOV (carpool) lanes to speed up a commute. However, many people are still hesitant about purchasing an EV because of “range anxiety,” the fear that their charge will run out leaving them stranded. Read More

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