Half the Oil


Cold Weather Affects Electric Vehicle Range. But Does It Matter?

, lead policy analyst, Clean Vehicles

Although cold weather impacts electric vehicles, the real question is whether that impact matters. To find out, I interviewed UCS members who drive electric vehicles in frigid places across the U.S. Here’s what they said. 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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The New Electric Car from KIA: Review of a 2015 Kia Soul EV Test Drive

, lead policy analyst, Clean Vehicles

If you’re looking for a new car, you’ve got to test drive an electric vehicle (EV). Just do it. Sure, you can read about how EVs provide instant torque, are cleaner and cheaper to drive than gas vehicles, and can fit the needs of 42 percent of American drivers, but the best way to understand the allure of an EV is to go drive one.

I recently took the 2015 Kia Soul EV home for lunch, and was amazed at how much I enjoyed driving on electricity. I’ve previously driven several EVs, but never alone, and never for an extended period of time. Having the Soul EV for a couple hours allowed me to better understand what, exactly, it would be like to own an EV – and I loved every minute of it. Read more >

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Electric Soul: What Goes Into a New EV?

, senior vehicles analyst

Kia released its first electric vehicle late last year in California, a new take on its iconic Soul compact. This year, the Kia Soul EV is expanding its reach to Georgia, Hawaii, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. With any luck, maybe Kia will follow GM’s lead and enter the Maryland market. But with announcements for the next generation of the plug-in hybrid Volt and a 200-mile battery-electric Bolt from its competitors on the horizon, not to mention today’s low gas prices, is there a reason why Kia is so bullish now? Read more >

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A Lightweight Investment With Big Dividends: DOE, Alcoa, and Aluminum Vehicles

, lead policy analyst, Clean Vehicles

Good news has emerged from the halls of the Department of Energy (DOE). Yesterday, DOE announced that Alcoa Incorporated, a “global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering, and manufacturing,” has been awarded a $259 million loan guarantee under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program. This capital will enable Alcoa to add 200 jobs at a Tennessee facility that manufactures the type of high-grade aluminum automakers are using to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and help drivers save money, cut emissions, and reduce oil use. Read more >

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