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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EV charging stations in parking lot

Gov. Newsom’s Proposal to Invest $1 Billion in ZEV Infrastructure is a Smart Proposition

, Western states policy manager

Governor Newsom’s executive order last year, which established a set of goals for fully electrifying cars and trucks, was an important marker of California’s commitment to vehicle electrification. However, it is a tall order to get to 100% ZEV sales for passenger cars by 2035 and 100% ZEV heavy-duty trucks and buses in operation by 2045 at our current pace. To meet this challenge, California must simultaneously make rapid progress on many fronts to increase use of ZEVs. This includes policies to require increased manufacturing of ZEVs, require that private and public fleets purchase ZEVs, help drivers at all income levels access ZEVs through purchase incentives and other programs that create access to ZEV mobility, and many other strategies. One of the most significant areas where state leadership is needed is supporting investment in the necessary infrastructure to charge electric vehicles and refuel hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Read more >

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Sam Houston/UCS

Federal Policy For Charging Access: A Tale of Two EV Drivers

, Clean Vehicles Analyst

Over the last few years, my work on electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure has focused, almost exclusively, on state-level policies and regulations. But now there’s a new Congress and a new administration giving new life to the possibilities to increase access to EV charging and enable more EV adoption—the kind of accelerated adoption that could put the US on track to achieve 100 percent EV sales by 2035 and significant progress on climate emission reductions. So my UCS colleagues and I have been thinking more deeply about federal policies, and I penned a new fact sheet, Federal Support for EV Charging: Policies for Rapid, Equitable Investments, Read more >

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Three Truths About Electric Vehicles

, Senior vehicles engineer

Over the last month, I’ve seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use. Some of the opposition will come from auto companies that want to delay the transition to electric vehicles, but others will be from fossil fuel interests or climate deniers. Read more >

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Ask a Scientist: Electric Vehicles are the Cleanest Option Today

, senior writer

“There is certainly a lot of hype about electric vehicles,” UCS supporter Terry S. wrote. “If electricity production were 100 percent renewable, then electric vehicles would be a big step in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. But transitioning to electric vehicles is likely to take decades. I applaud UCS for working to accelerate that transition. However, it seems a larger emphasis should be on pushing the adoption of hybrids, such as the Prius, and higher mileage standards over the next decade.” I turned to David Reichmuth, a senior engineer in the UCS Clean Transportation Program to respond. Reichmuth, who holds a PhD in chemical engineering, is an expert on California’s Zero Emission Vehicles regulation and has authored several reports on the benefits of EVs Read more >

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A white Chevrolet pick up truck at the L.A. auto show
GM’s current sales strategy is firmly rooted in large gasoline vehicles. Reichmuth/UCS

Press Releases Alone Aren’t Going to Clean Up Cars and Trucks

, Senior vehicles engineer

General Motors recently announced that the company “aspires to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035.” Many in the press were quick to credit GM for this announcement, but it’s important to remember that aspirations are only the first (and easiest) step in any plan. Read more >

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