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
May 27th, 2014
May 5th, 2014
As part of his climate action plan, the President called for strengthening fuel economy and global warming emissions standards for the biggest trucks on the road. A worthy goal — but what does it mean in terms of real reductions in global warming emissions and oil consumption? And how do we get there? Read More
February 11th, 2014
If you’re thinking about buying a vehicle, chances are you’ve noticed a number of automakers touting the benefits of new “clean diesel” vehicles with fuel efficiencies of 40 to 45 mpg on the highway. That sounds awfully high – but what does it mean, and how does it compare to the most efficient gasoline-powered vehicles on the road, hybrids? Read More
December 23rd, 2013
As you find yourself traveling on the road these holidays, you may notice something different about tractor-trailers—some of them are wearing skirts. Because of the roughly 100,000 miles traveled annually by the average long haul tractor-trailer (ie semi-truck, or big rig), putting on one of these long skirts (pictured below) is like eliminating the global warming pollution from an average car. Here’s how, and why we need more of them. Read More
December 2nd, 2013
Yes — it’s that time of year again. The online holiday shopping season is kicking off with another Cyber Monday. And if the trend continues, as it has for the past several years, another online shopping record will fall. I’m sure that’s welcome news to the likes of UPS and FedEx. But there’s another trend starting as well that should be good news for all you online shoppers out there (myself included). The trucks that move all those goods from factory, to warehouse, to your door are burning less fuel and creating less carbon emissions. Read More
November 12th, 2013
The newly released Honda Accord Hybrid scores a noteworthy 50 mpg around town according to the EPA. That’s nearly the fuel efficiency of the popular Toyota Prius hybrid—but in a larger car with sedan styling. However, what really stands out is the technology that lets this car achieve such a high fuel economy mark.
November 8th, 2013
When it comes to investing in clean transportation solutions, Norway is doing it right. Or should I say, Norway is gjør det riktig. The country famous for Vikings, the perfect complement to bagels and cream cheese, and Johan Olav Koss, is also a good example of a country working to reduce their oil use through transforming their transportation sector.
August 27th, 2013
The recent announcement from Ford that they will be changing the MPG rating of their Ford C-Max hybrid isn’t just a reminder of how much consumers care about fuel economy, but how important it is to get the ratings right. Accurate ratings can be a challenge as vehicles get more efficient since small variations in fuel consumption are amplified in the vehicles’ MPG ratings. The experience with the C-Max is moving the EPA to reexamine some aspects of their MPG labeling certification requirements to make sure they keep pace with advances in fuel economy. This is good news for both automakers—who tout vehicle ratings as key selling points—and consumers, who depend on MPG ratings when comparing their vehicle choices. Read More
April 24th, 2013
A theme that I have been writing and speaking about a lot recently is the obligation of industry CEOs to lead their companies in reducing heat-trapping emissions and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy – not only because of the essential societal benefits but because it’s good for business. Read More
February 8th, 2013
The President’s recent remarks about the imperative to take action in his second term on the threat of climate change can be understood as a sequence of purposeful statements meant to signal intent and resolve.
From his speech on the night of his successful re-election to his remarkable inaugural speech and multiple times in between, the President’s clear and inspiring comments offer a clear rationale and compelling call to action. His next big speech, the State of the Union, is traditionally where presidents provide more details on their plans for the coming year, and we can expect President Obama to do that next Tuesday. Read More