State of Charge


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?

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How to Calculate Electric Vehicle Emissions by ZIP Code and Model

, senior policy analyst, Clean Vehicles

Internet! As you may have heard, the UCS Clean Vehicles squad just released a new report that definitively answers the question: are electric vehicles (EVs) cleaner than gas-powered vehicles? After two years of gathering and crunching data, we found that the average battery electric vehicle sold today is responsible for less than half the global warming emissions of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles.

So yes, EVs are awesome for the environment – and your wallet. But just how awesome? To help you #humblebrag about how clean EVs are in your neck of the woods, we developed this handy online tool that calculates emissions for almost every EV on the market for every zipcode in the U.S. Check it out and share it with your networks. I’ll give you unlimited internet points. Read more >

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Deflating the Wall Street Journal’s Hot Air on Electric Cars

, former deputy director, Clean Vehicles

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently published a very misleading op-ed on electric cars. Given their similar history on climate change and oil subsidies, I’m sure this shocks you as much as would a dog bites man story. But the frequency of opinion pieces in the Journal and other publications that are peddling bogus memes around electric vehicles (EVs) calls for continued push back. Read more >

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What We Should Learn from a Lifecycle Assessment of EVs in the EU

, research and deputy director, Clean Vehicles

A new study examining the life-cycle impacts of electric vehicles looks at global warming emissions and other environmental impacts from the production and use of vehicles in the European Union. Here’s one media story about the report with a rather damning headline  – Study: ‘Global Warming Potential’ From Electric Cars Twice That Of Conventional. Kind of reminds me of some of the coverage of our State of Charge report (See a Columbia Journalism Review blog on that). It’s stories like this that might lead some casual readers to conclude that electric vehicles are a disaster. Read more >

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Are Some Californians Paying Too Much to Charge their Plug-in Vehicles?

, research and deputy director, Clean Vehicles

A recent survey of electric vehicle (EV) owners shows that a significant number of Californians may be leaving hundreds of dollars a year in fuel-cost savings on the table. The survey by the California Center for Sustainable Energy suggests that more than a third of EV owners in some utility territories may not be on the utility rate plan that would save them the most money. Read more >

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