Vehicles

From fuel efficient trucks to electric and fuel-cell vehicles, our experts examine the role of transportation in tackling climate change and cutting U.S. oil use.


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Photo: Eric Kilby/Flickr

Massachusetts Senate Unanimously Endorses a Bold Vision for Clean Transportation

, policy analyst

The Massachusetts Senate yesterday unanimously passed an energy bill that promises to dramatically reshape the vehicles and fuels that power our transportation system.

If enacted, this legislation would make Massachusetts a national and even global leader in the deployment of electric vehicle technology. It would dramatically reduce our consumption of oil, and the pollution that comes from petroleum. It would save lives by significantly improving air quality, especially in urban areas. It would produce a stronger and more resilient modern grid that will provide ratepayers with greater efficiency and reliability. And it would produce long-term cost savings for Massachusetts drivers and transit agencies.

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Eric Kilby
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Our Latest Automaker Rankings: What The Industry Needs to do to Keep Moving Forward

, senior vehicles analyst

Every few years, UCS takes a look at the auto industry’s emission reduction progress as part of our Automaker Rankings series of reports. This year’s analysis, based on model year (MY) 2017 vehicles, shows that the industry has once again reached the lowest levels yet in both smog-forming and global warming emissions from new vehicles, despite the fact that many off-the-shelf technologies are deployed in less than one-third of all new vehicles.  Unfortunately, this record-setting trend in progress also shows some indications of slowing down, with Ford and Hyundai-Kia showing no progress towards reducing global warming emissions, and Toyota actually moving backwards.

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Photo: Grendelkhan/Wikimedia Commons

It’s Time to Implement Stronger Autonomous Vehicle Testing Standards

, Kendall Science Fellow

The widespread introduction of autonomous vehicles could potentially bring about many benefits, most importantly the benefit of improved safety. Autonomous vehicles are being tested in several states and provinces, California has been working with testing companies under a regulatory framework, while states like Arizona have allowed free reign to the companies to test the vehicles on the public roads, with a backup human in the driver seat to compensate for any failures in the software. However, what happens if the driver gets distracted and loses focus? Or when the autonomous system doesn’t have a sufficient way of warning the driver that they need to take over? Read more >

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DC Circulator bus

More Great News for Clean Air and Public Transit

, vehicles analyst

To meet air quality and climate goals, we need widespread electrification of all types of vehicles. Buses are the people’s electric vehicle. Read more >

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California State Capitol

California Could Pass Innovative Legislation on Key Climate, Energy and Transportation Issues

, Western states policy manager

California has a well-earned reputation as a world leader in promoting clean energy and other solutions to climate change. However, as anyone paying attention to the climate crisis knows, we have far more work to do. Fortunately, the California Legislature is considering many bills in 2018 that would further address climate change. With three and half months until the Legislature adjourns for the year, UCS is working with lawmakers to make progress on a suite of policy prescriptions to promote renewable energy, clean transportation, and better preparedness for climate change impacts. Read more >

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