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Posts Tagged ‘union of concerned scientists’

Electric Vehicles Save $100 Million in Gas Costs

Sales of EVs doubled in 2013 to nearly 100,000 units.

by on Mar.27, 2014

American EV owners saved themselves $100 million last year by not buying gas.

More than 160,000 Americans saved themselves $100 million in 2013 by not doing one thing that millions of others had to do: buy gasoline.

According to Union of Concerned Scientists, those drivers saved 45 millions of gasoline last year. Not surprisingly, Californians led the way accounting for nearly half of the savings – $40 million – and reducing emissions of carbon dioxide by 140 thousand tons per year.

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The number of plug-in electrics doubled in the U.S. last year to 99,827 vehicles compared with 2012. Again, California led the charge. In fact, 2.5% of the cars sold there in 2013 were plug-ins.


Battery Cars Bring Energy, Emissions Savings Anywhere in U.S., Finds New Study

But advantages vary by region – and local electric supply.

by on Apr.16, 2012

The Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf.

Switching to a battery-powered vehicle will yield measurable savings in a motorist’s energy bills, according to a new study, while also reducing global warming emissions.

But the report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, or UCS, finds that the advantages vary widely depending upon where you live.  In the best regions, savings on energy can add up to more than $1,000 annually – with battery cars cleaner than anything else on the road.  But even in the worst regions, those heavily dependent upon coal to generate electricity, the UCS report says battery vehicles retain a significant advantage over traditional automotive powertrain technology.

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“No matter where you live in the United States, electric vehicles are good choice for reducing global warming emissions and saving money on fueling up,” said Don Anair, the report’s author and senior engineer for UCS’s Clean Vehicles Program.


Honda Named “Greenest Automaker”

Union of Concerned Scientists cites maker for 5th time.

by on Oct.08, 2010

The Honda FCX fuel-cell vehicle produces no emissions whatsoever when fueled from a solar-powered hydrogen pump.

Honda has been named the Greenest Automaker by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the fifth time the group has given the honor to the Japanese maker.

The award honors the company whose U.S. motor vehicle fleet produces the lowest levels of smog-forming and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Honda’s decade-long claim to the Greenest Automaker title has set a high bar for the industry,” said Jim Kliesch, a senior engineer with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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The science-based non-profit previously named Honda Greenest Automaker in 2007, 2004, 2002 and 2000.

Taking such a title might have meant relatively little in the early years but has become an increasingly important honorific – and marketing tool.


First Look: BMW Z4 sDrive35

Twin turbos, seven-speed automatic, and no revised M-model?

by on Jan.04, 2010

No turning back from traditional performance marketing just yet?

It almost takes longer to pronounce the name, than it does for the new 2010 BMW Z4 sDrive35 roadster to reach 62 mph from a stop — 4.8 seconds, according to the Bavarian maker of mostly coupes, sedans and sport utility vehicles.

During the 2010 North American International Auto Show, BMW will unveil its latest iteration of a classic roadster with its inline six-cylinder engine and dual turbochargers.

Power output is rated at 250 kW/340 horsepower, and peak torque is 450 Newton-meters or 332 pound-feet. With a seven-speed Sport automatic transmission featuring double clutches – first time in the U.S. — the sports car is more than adequately quick. And, once again, BMW is at pains to point out, it comes with no increase in fuel consumption. Whether the price increase from $52,000 remains to be seen.

At 9.0 liters/100 kilometers (equal to ~26 mpg U.S.) and 210 grams CO2 per kilometer in the EU test cycle, both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are the same as on the BMW Z4 sDrive35i with the older six speed Sport Automatic.


Environmental pressure groups, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, have been hammering BMW (and other companies) for what they deem are excessive increases in power-to-weight ratios while only pursuing token fuel economy and carbon dioxide reduction measures.


Ford Criticized for Its Continued Membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Lobbying and rhetoric heat up as Senate Committee passes contentious climate bill. Billions of your tax dollars are at stake.

by on Nov.05, 2009

Half of U.S. electricity generation comes from coal, which emits enormous quantities of greenhouse gases.

Burning coal emits large amounts of greenhouse gases as it makes half of the U.S.'s electricity.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is calling on its membership to put pressure on William Clay Ford Jr., chairman of the Ford Motor Company, to make a public break with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and “its stance of denying the science and need for action on climate change.”

The action from the pressure group comes as the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee passed over the objections of Republican members the “Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act” this morning, setting the stage for the rest of the Senate to move forward with controversial climate change legislation.

The bill sets a short-term target of reducing green house gas emissions 20% below 2005 levels by 2020. Critics contend that to do so will wreck the economy. The act also establishes a “cap-and-trade” system to reduce U.S. greenhouse gases.

At stake are billion of dollars in credits — or taxpayer giveaways — to power and oil companies in voluntary greenhouse gas emissions trading markets or in mandatory emissions trading markets, if they are legislated.

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Like the already passed House bill, the Senate bill requires periodic scientific assessments to ensure the program is operating effectively. Unlike the House measure, the bill would retain the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to require emission reductions from the oldest and dirtiest powerplants.


Comments on Pending EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules Create Conflicting Claims as Deadline Nears

Pressure groups insist their position is "Greenest."

by on Apr.03, 2009

Obama's lead on fuel economy, Ray LaHood, will sort the politics and the policy in this high stakes issue.

Obama's lead on fuel economy, Ray LaHood, will sort politics from policy in this high stakes issue.

Facing a Monday deadline for written comments to the Environmental Protection Agency regarding its proposal for the first national greenhouse gas reporting rule, lobbying efforts by special interest groups are intensifying. Tied up in this issue is whether EPA will grant a waiver that will allow California and 13 states to bypass federal fuel economy regulations. Since this California coalition accounts for 40% of the new vehicles sold in the U.S., the stakes are high for automakers, environmentalists and new car buyers alike. EPA will hold public hearings on April 6 and 7, and it says it will consider written comments submitted with the same weight as the oral arguments presented.

In question are the types of vehicles you will be allowed to buy, where you can buy them, and maybe even how much more they will cost. Critics say if the waiver is granted, some vehicles won’t be available in the stricter states, though consumers might buy them elsewhere and move them into banned areas, as many California dealers believe will happen, providing a boon for dealers in Oregon and Nevada. The exemptions for wealthy buyers in the California bill are also troubling. Also affected will be auto industry jobs, and the location of those jobs —  here or overseas – in the midst of an economic collapse. 

The communications being sent out of Washington are typical of the now almost universal approach to such conflicts. One e-mail exhortation begins simply enough saying that only days remain “for citizens to demand that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allow states to legally regulate global warming pollution from cars. 

 “At UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists) we are doing everything we can right now to ensure the voices of tens of thousands of concerned citizens are heard in Washington. If you care about a healthy environment and want more consumer choices for clean cars, this is your chance to make a real difference,” says Michelle Robinson, Director, Clean Vehicles Program.  (more…)