fuel economy


Hey Congress—Don’t Let Automakers Undercut Fuel Standards with Phony Credits!

, senior vehicles analyst

Whether it’s the Volkswagen debacle (which continues to get worse), the massive Takata airbag recall involving just about every car company on the planet, or the GM ignition switch scandal, automakers have been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. So it was no surprise when the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives recently held a hearing on draft legislation regarding vehicles and roadway safety. After all, Congress should hold deceitful automakers accountable for their actions, and they should help ensure access to safe, clean vehicles.

It was a surprise, though, to see hidden provisions that would award fuel economy credits for safety technologies. If you are asking yourself, “What in the world does safety have to do with fuel economy?” you are not alone …

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Automaker Rankings Revisited—Does Volkswagen Now Have the “Dirtiest Tailpipe”?

, senior vehicles analyst

Last year, we released our semi-regular report card on the auto industry, the Automaker Rankings, where Volkswagen tied for 3rd place behind Hyundai-Kia and Honda. However, the astounding news this month around VW’s diesel vehicles is not only a black eye on the company—it also calls into question just how “green” the VW fleet truly is. We’ve received a lot of questions about the impact this scandal has on their environmental performance, so I’d like to take the opportunity to address some of those questions. Read more >

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California Can Cut Its Oil Use In Half

, research and deputy director, Clean Vehicles

Governor Brown’s goal of cutting oil use by up to 50 percent, and the subsequent legislative effort through SB350 to codify that goal in California law, has raised the rancor of the oil industry. It’s not surprising an industry might get defensive when lawmakers want to slash the amount of product they sell – nor is it surprising that an industry with a history of deception would not let the facts stand in the way of their response. Despite their “consumer-friendly” ads, the oil industry is really working against the public interest to protect their stranglehold over our transportation choices.

But the fact of the matter is that California, and the rest of the nation, can cut its oil use in half. Read more >

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8 Ways Science Can Save Gas On Your Summer Road Trip

, senior vehicles analyst

With the end of the school year upon us, no doubt many of you are embarking on one of my favorite activities: the road trip. Even with gas prices under $3 per gallon, the prospect of shelling out well over $100 in fuel will have anyone trying to use a few gallons less. Here at UCS, we are always thinking about ways to save fuel. Having driven cross-country a number of times—and worked as a physicist and vehicles analyst—here are a few tips I use to save fuel: Read more >

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New National Academies Study Says EPA and NHTSA Got it Right

, senior vehicles analyst

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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