Something big is brewing in Oregon. No, it’s not a new IPA from Portland-based Bridgeport Brewery—though that sounds delightful. It’s the next phase of Oregon’s Clean Fuel Program, a forward-thinking regulation that requires transportation fuel to get steadily cleaner on average, ultimately achieving a 10 percent reduction in carbon emissions per unit of fuel in 10 years. Extending this rule is a big deal because approximately one-third of Oregon’s greenhouse gases come from transportation, and Oregon has the in-state resource potential to produce significant amounts of clean fuels. Read More
January 30th, 2015
September 17th, 2014
It’s National Drive Electric Week, and events are being held across the country that will showcase the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) and highlight the many benefits of driving on electricity. Check out where events are near you, and head on over to test drive an electric vehicle, talk with EV owners, and learn more about this exciting technology that can help cut our nation’s projected oil use in half in twenty years. Looking to help out with an event? There are plenty of volunteer opportunities too. Read More
James Nolan, Associate Professor
Department of Biology, Georgia Gwinnett College
June 17th, 2014
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
Dr. John Patten
Professor and Chair, Department of Manufacturing Engineering, and Director, Manufacturing Research Center, Western Michigan University
April 30th, 2014
The idea of switching over to renewable energy really came together for me during the oil embargoes of the 1970s, while I was in college and working at General Motors. I could not get gas for my car and we could not get enough oil for lubricants, cutting fluids and hydraulics at work. These events put me on a 40-year career path working in clean energy, starting with studying solar energy at the University of Florida and Oakland University, to working as an energy engineer, and I’ve been practicing and implementing what I learned ever since. Read More
April 2nd, 2014
You may have heard a lot recently about electric vehicles (EVs). Sales of EVs are up, manufacturers are beginning to offer a variety of EV models – from sportscars to sedans – and our recent analysis found that 42 percent of American households with a vehicle could use an EV.
So, why are car buyers getting more enthused about EVs? Since I’m not an EV owner myself (I continue to rely on my 25 year old Panasonic “collectors” bicycle – and by “collectors” I mean rusting hunk of Japanese steel), I asked UCS members who drive EVs what they like about driving on electricity. Read on to hear their stories and find out the top 7 reasons to consider an EV. Read More
December 18th, 2013
Hi, I’m Rachael and I recently joined the UCS team as a Kendall Science Fellow in the Clean Vehicles group. My focus during the fellowship will be on the lifecycle impacts of advanced vehicle technologies, so first I’m going to start with a brief background on what lifecycle assessment is and why it’s important. Read More
December 11th, 2013
The market for electric vehicles (EVs) is booming. More EVs have been sold in 2013 than were sold in calendar years 2010-2012 combined and more EV models and designs are coming to showroom floors than ever before. Despite all of this good news, however, EVs only make up less than 1% of the total vehicles on the road in the United States and the ever-present chorus of “EV-haters” continue to carol the futility of driving on electricity.
The dichotomy between the recent rise of EV sales and the sustained backlash against EVs raises the question: are today’s EVs a suitable choice for drivers, or are they a technology destined for lonely Ebay auctions like Betamax or Minidiscs? To answer this question, UCS teamed up with Consumers Union, the nonpartisan policy wing of Consumer Reports, to assess whether today’s EVs could meet the vehicle needs and driving habits of American drivers. Read More
Charging Electric Cars from the Grid: A Good Choice – or the Best Choice for Lowering Global Warming Emissions?
April 19th, 2012
Electric vehicles, hailed by some as the greenest cars on the planet, have also been dismissed by others as an expensive way to do little more than move vehicle emissions from the tailpipe to a smokestack. So who’s got it right? My colleague, Amine Mahmassani, who works in the Clean Vehicles program at UCS recently co-authored a new report on electric vehicles which clears the air on the issue. I interviewed Amine to see what I could learn about global warming emissions from charging vehicles on the electricity grid. Read More