Tag Archives: electric vehicles

“Safe” Air Isn’t Safe Enough

Cars and trucks at a near standstill on a 9-land highway.

Photo: URBAN TEXTURES, © 1998 PhotoSpin, powerphotos.com. Via Flickr

A new study released this week shows that levels of air pollution that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deems safe may not be safe enough. The study, conducted by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that long-term exposure to airborne fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) and ozone — even below current standards established by established by the EPA — increases the risk of premature death.

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With EVs Taking Off, What’s the Future for Other Alt Fuels?

Tesla Model 3

The much anticipated and affordable Tesla Model 3 is expected to help push electric vehicle ownership into the mainstream.

Electric vehicles are increasingly dominating the alternative fuel market for passenger vehicles in the U.S. With this boom in electric vehicle sales, we wondered how other alternative fuel vehicle options fairing. Is there still a place for hybrid, natural gas and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the passenger vehicle market?

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Clean Cars May Cost Less Than You Think

Chevy Spark

The Chevrolet Spark was found to be one of the most affordable and least polluting vehicles on the market today.

Yes, you can afford an alt-fuel car.

A new study released this week by Massachusetts Institute of Technology compares the lifecycle cost and emissions of owning 125 different vehicles on the market, and guess what? It turns out that clean cars are a great deal for both the environment and your pocketbook.

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Range Anxiety? Today’s electric cars can cover majority of driving needs

Range anxiety? Today's electric cars can cover vast majority of daily U.S. driving needs

photo: Richard Unten via Flickr

Electrifying transportation is one of the most promising ways to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, but so-called range anxiety – concern about being stranded with an uncharged car battery – remains a barrier to electric vehicle adoption. Is range anxiety justified given current cars and charging infrastructure?

It’s a question my research group and I addressed in a recent study. Specifically, we asked: When looking down on the geographic area of the U.S. from a bird’s-eye view, how many personal vehicles on the road daily could be replaced with a low-cost battery electric vehicle (EV), even if daytime charging isn’t available?

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Accelerating to a Fuel-Efficient Future

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

The BMW Concept X5 eDrive

There have been two competing car narratives happening recently. A few weeks ago, the New York Times reported on how improvements in overall fuel economy have stalled, not surprisingly since the price of gasoline has dropped to $2 per gallon. But the options for drivers who want to buy electric vehicles are better than ever.

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Our Most Popular Food and Fuel Stories of 2015

How to make KCups less wasteful

Photo via Li Tsin Soonon Flickr

In case you missed any, here’s a roundup of our most popular blog posts of 2015. As you can see by this list, our readers are more interested than ever in learning about the food waste problem and finding ways to fix it. On the fuel side, stories about innovation and idling reduction were popular, too.

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Report: More EVs and Cleaner Grid Can Lower Emissions Significantly by 2050

Electric vehicles at EV charging stations

Photo: wahousegop via Flickr

Some studies have found that replacing gasoline vehicles with electric vehicles is like trading one dirty fossil fuel for another if the electricity is coming from a coal-fired power plant. Other studies make a good case for driving electric even in regions dominated by coal.

These studies are helpful if you’re evaluating which car to buy and drive today, but what about in the future? What impact can getting more EVs on the road have as the energy grid gets cleaner? Can EVs make a significant difference in lowering total emissions?

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The Future of the Electric Car Battery

Batteries from Nissan Leafs will get a second life as energy storage devices.

Batteries from Nissan Leafs will get a second life as energy storage devices.

The electric vehicle is one of the most promising sustainable methods of personal transportation. But what about the batteries used to power EVs? Once they can no longer power a car, it is important that EV batteries are not simply thrown into landfills, but rather recycled or better yet, repurposed.

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Are School Buses Ready to Go Electric?

school buses

Photo: Zemlinki! via Flickr

We often blog about how businesses with vehicle fleets can be more fuel-efficient. But what about our nation’s largest fleet: school buses. Tasked with carrying 25 million children to school every day, our collective school bus fleet is the largest form of mass transit in the United States. Making the 480,000 buses in operation more fuel-efficient would go a long way to reducing oil usage in our country.

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How Electric Vehicles Can Work for You

Sustainable America's Public EV Charging Station

As a Washington, DC, native, I thought I understood traffic well, but I didn’t truly know how bad it could be until I moved to Connecticut. I drive a Ford C-Max Energi to work, and this 16-mile drive can easily take an hour door-to-door, and that’s all highway miles.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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