Jimmy O'Dea

Senior vehicles analyst

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Jimmy O’Dea is a senior vehicles analyst in the Clean Vehicles program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He is an expert on cleaner vehicle and freight technologies and policies. See Jimmy's full bio.

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Jimmy's Latest Posts

Tesla semi truck. Photo: Korbitr/Wikimedia Commons

How Can We Get More Electric Trucks on the Road?

California is considering a policy to drive sales of electric trucks like it has done for sales of electric cars.

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Photos: Jimmy O'Dea (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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Self-Driving Cars and Land Use: An Interview with Becky Steckler and Nico Larco

Take a look outside. If you’re in a city, you might notice a lot of space has been devoted to roads and parking lots. Will automated vehicles (AVs) change how we use roads? Will we no longer need parking lots if we’re being shuttled around by cars that are constantly being used? Will the expected convenience of AVs create demand for even more roads? What can cities do to ensure AVs improve the livability of their communities?

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Data and the Future of Mobility: An Interview with Dr. Regina Clewlow

I recently got to sit down with Dr. Regina Clewlow, CEO of Populus, to talk about one of the most critical, yet unappreciated, pieces to improving our transportation system: data. Regina is one of the most respected people I know working in the new mobility industry. She has worked from all angles to improve how we get around, as a researcher in the academic world to leading roles in the private sector, including her current venture as the co-founder and CEO of the mobility data platform company, Populus. Here’s an edited transcript of a conversation we recently had about data and new mobility. Read more >

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California Gets one Step Closer to Zero-Emission Transit Buses

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently released a draft standard for transitioning the state’s transit buses to zero-emission battery or fuel cell technologies by 2040. This is great news for bus riders, bus drivers, local air quality, and tackling global warming emissions from the transportation sector.

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Map of the United States showing the fuel efficiency that a diesel bus would need to have the same life cycle global warming emissions as a battery electric bus in each region.

Electric vs. Diesel vs. Natural Gas: Which Bus is Best for the Climate?

Battery electric buses – the people’s electric vehicle – are becoming more and more common. An increasing number of transit agencies – large and small – are making announcements about purchasing electric buses and putting them into operation.

The obvious benefit of electric buses is that they don’t have any tailpipe emissions. A question we often get at UCS is, “What about emissions used to generate electricity for electric vehicles?”

We answered this for buses charged on California’s grid and found that battery electric buses had 70 percent lower global warming emissions than a diesel or natural gas bus (it’s gotten even better since that analysis). So what about the rest of the country?

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Photo credit: MJW15 CC BY-SA 4.0
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