Vehicles

From fuel efficient trucks to electric and fuel-cell vehicles, our experts examine the role of transportation in tackling climate change and cutting U.S. oil use.


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How Many Rides Do Lyft and Uber Give Per Day? New Data Help Cities Plan for the Future

, vehicles analyst

In the span of about 7 years, app-based ride-hailing (i.e. Lyft and Uber) has gone from non-existent to ubiquitous in major metro areas. But how are these services affecting important aspects of our transportation system like congestion, public transit, and vehicle emissions? The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) made a big first step last week towards answering these questions. The agency released data showing when, where, and how many rides start and end within San Francisco. These statistics are important because passenger vehicles are the largest source of climate emissions in California, a major source of air pollution, and play a central role in our transportation system, which greatly affects social equity. Read more >

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New Numbers Are In and EVs Are Cleaner Than Ever

, senior engineer, Clean Vehicles

One of the most common questions I’m asked about electric cars is, “how clean are they?”

Five years ago, UCS answered this question, publishing its first look at the global warming emissions from electric vehicles (EVs) in our ‘State of Charge’ report.  In early 2017, the US EPA updated their data on emissions from electricity generation, now capturing power plant emissions through the end of 2014. How does this new data change our assessment of EVs?

Read more >

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Vehicle pollution is a major issue for human health and the environment.

Automakers Seek to Shirk Environmental Responsibilities, and Senators Oblige

, senior vehicles analyst

Today, automakers yearning to weaken environmental regulations found an ear on Capitol Hill—Senator Blunt (R-MO) introduced a bill with support of a few auto-state senators which would undermine the federal fuel economy regulations in three ways:  1) it extends the life for credits, some of which have already expired, creating so-called “zombie credits”; 2) it awards windfall credits for vehicles already sold by pulling forward a flexibility which regulators explicitly said they were not granting when setting the stringency of the program; and 3) it allows for manufacturers to focus all their efforts on just one segment of their fleet, undermining the promise to consumers that all types of vehicles—cars, trucks, and SUVs—would become more efficient over time. Read more >

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Photo: Steve Fecht/General Motors

New Study on Smart Charging Connects EVs & The Grid

, Kendall Science Fellow

We know that electric vehicles (EVs) tend to be more environmentally friendly than gasoline cars. We also know that a future dominated by EVs poses a problem—what happens if everyone charges their cars at the same time (e.g., when they get home from work)? Read more >

Photo: Steve Fecht/General Motors
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Biofuel Photo: Oregon Department of Agriculture. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (Flickr)

Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program Off to a Great Start

, senior scientist, Clean Vehicles

Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program (CFP) was initially authorized by the legislature in 2009, with subsequent legislation in 2015 allowing the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to fully implement the program in 2016. The program’s goals are to foster the development of an in-state market for cleaner fuel by requiring that transportation fuels used in Oregon get steadily less-polluting over the next decade. The program completed a very successful first year, but it remains under attack, so it’s a great time to review how the policy is working, and its prospects for the future. Read more >

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